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Neighborhood Issue 2015

Photo Credit: Joeff Davis and CL Staff

CL's Annual Neighborhood Issue


When people say Atlanta is a city of neighborhoods, they aren’t kidding. Atlanta claims 242 official neighborhoods. Zoom in on well-known communities such as Buckhead, Downtown, and the Westside, and the number of neighborhoods multiplies exponentially. They’re often lumped together into smaller groups — 25 Neighborhood Planning Units, 12 City Council districts, 6 police zones — to make civic life more manageable. For this year’s Neighborhood Issue, we wondered about the story behind neighborhood names such as Joyland and Polar Rock, the history of longstanding communities such as East Lake and Chosewood Park, and where people hang out in places like South Atlanta. Far from definitive, the following overview offers a look at 25 of Atlanta’s lesser-known communities. Only 217 to go.

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Thursday March 26, 2015 12:00 am EDT
Residents showcase the underappreciated charms of their neighborhoods | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Five Public Projects that could fundamentally change Atlanta neighborhoods. | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Time to become a model citizen and get engaged | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
East Lake is full of historical significance. When Asa Candler wasn’t busy building a soft drink empire, he was purchasing a vast stretch of land that now encompasses East Lake Golf Club, which acted as Bobby Jones’ home course, now ranked among the best golf courses in the world. Formerly nicknamed “Little Vietnam” for its high crime rate, the neighborhood has undergone a radical... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
No, we’re not talking about the huge swath of land south of I-20. This richly historic southeast Atlanta neighborhood once known as Brownsville sits north of Aaron’s Amphitheatre and a few miles from Turner Field. Clark University has roots at the campus of what today is the Carver School and remained there until 1941, when it relocated to the Atlanta University Center. Some of the streets are... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
The neighborhood that Turner Field calls home is in for some major changes once Atlanta’s MLB team heads OTP in 2017. Summerhill, officially established after the Civil War, was first home to freed slaves and Jewish immigrants. A century later, white flight and stadium construction devastated the neighborhood. Evander Holyfield lived in Summerhill as a child. Today, Freewheel Farm, which sells... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Bounded by Lee Street, Langford Parkway, I-85, and avenues including Deckner and Arden, Sylvan Hills manages to be all about the porousness of borders. In the days when Fort McPherson still held a military presence, the sounds of “Taps” would sometimes drift east, across Lee Street and the southern line of MARTA and multiple freight train tracks, at sunset. From within the neighborhood, the... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Originally named West End Park, this onetime trolley neighborhood in southwest Atlanta (and recovering victim of the mortgage fraud epidemic) is undergoing re-investment thanks to an intown revival and the soon-to-be-under construction Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail along its edge. A neighbor to Westview Cemetery — the final resting place of journalist Henry W. Grady and former Mayor William... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Five Public Projects that could fundamentally change Atlanta neighborhoods. | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Not much remains of the original churches and residences that made up the historically black neighborhood of Blandtown. These days discount furniture outlets line Huff Road near the Westside. Nearby, restaurants such as Bone Garden Cantina and Star Provisions offer lunch- and dinnertime hangouts, while the Goat Farm Arts Center is home to hundreds of artists, performers, and technology... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Things that don’t typically define a great neighborhood surround Bolton: a landfill to the north, a derelict strip mall to the east, a rail yard to the west, and a cemetery to the south. But it’s what’s inside that reveals the northwest Atlanta community’s core. A combination of older brick one-story abodes and newer suburban-style houses with white picket fences line the neighborhood’s... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
The words Chastain Park bring to mind summer nights picnicking in the bleachers at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, watching something like Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. Or perhaps a day spent on the green at North Fulton Golf Course. Or the memory might be of hazy nights of knocking back drinks with the grown and sexy crowd at Johnny’s Hideaway — not technically in the neighborhood, but close... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
As the story goes, back in 1921 Joyland was an amusement park geared toward blacks. Today, the small, southeast Atlanta neighborhood is the home of Arthur Langford Jr. Park (aka Langford Park), which, in addition to being home to an abstract sculpture, “Spirit Bench,” will soon be overhauled by Atlanta Beltline and city parks department. Goodbye dilapidated community pool, hello skate park! —... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Atlantans might know Mechanicsville as the host of the Atlanta Fair, home to T.I.’s character in the movie ATL, or even as a parking lot for Braves games. But few are likely to be familiar with its history as one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Mechanicsville was established in the late 19th century at the intersection of several railway lines (the name comes from the “mechanics” who... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Little is known about the history of Atlanta’s historic Polar Rock neighborhood in southeast Atlanta, or how it acquired such a cool name in a city known for its oppressive heat, but the president of the Polar Rock Community Association says he’s working to rectify that. A hilly neighborhood near the EUE/Screen Gems Studios complex and Aaron’s Amphitheatre, the community is quiet and woodsy,... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Why developers in the 1940s decided to name this sleepy residential neighborhood abutting Ansley Golf Course Sherwood Forest is anyone’s guess. But “once you name something Sherwood Forest, you kind of have to follow through,” says Mike Grill, president of the Sherwood Forest Civic Association. And follow through they did. Robin Hood Road is the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. Friar Tuck Road... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
The name alone exudes wealth. Grandiose Georgian, Tudor, Italian, and Greek Revival mansions line the streets. Now one of Buckhead’s most prestigious neighborhoods, Tuxedo Park was once woodland and farms. Wealthy Atlantans started building summer homes along West Paces Ferry in the early 1900s. Large tracts of land were purchased and sold off to well-to-do men and women, including Robert... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Maynard Jackson's innovative plan to give citizens a role in political process is 'broken but not dead' | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Adair Park, which bills itself as “Atlanta’s best kept secret,” is punctuated by the quintessential elements of that old turn-of-the-20th-century charm: large front porches, landscaped gardens, and picturesque bungalows. Founded in 1892 by George Adair, the same developer who helped build Virginia-Highland and Morningside, the neighborhood suffered from white flight in the 1960s. In recent... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
When a Living Walls-commissioned mural by Hyuro that featured a naked woman was vandalized after facing resistance from some Chosewood Park residents in 2012, it was the first time many within the city had heard of the southeast Atlanta neighborhood. Established after the turn of the nineteenth century, the community first served as housing for employees of the Atlanta Penitentiary, located... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
You don’t have to look hard to find the sense of history in this neighborhood. At the wishbone intersection of Morehouse Drive, Spellman Street, and Morris Brown Avenue in Northwest Atlanta stands the steepled sanctuary of the 82-year-old congregation known as Dixie Hills First Baptist Church. During the long hot summer of 1967, when more than 100 race riots broke out around the country, Dixie... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Nestled west of the Atlanta University Center and encompassing Fountain and Morris Brown drives, Just Us holds the distinction of being the smallest official neighborhood in ATL. Like other small Westside ’hoods, the Atlanta Beltine has Just Us in its sights for expansion along the Westside trail. — Gavin Godfrey | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Behind the strip clubs, sex shops, and frozen-in-time restaurants of Cheshire Bridge Road is a more residential side, Lindridge-Martin Manor, featuring large lots, modest homes, and the South Fork of Peachtree Creek. Through the South Fork Conservancy, the community has worked to clean, restore, and maintain the waterway and its surrounding ecosystem. Nearby trails offer an up-close look at the... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Niskey Lake isn’t the biggest body of water in southwest Atlanta. Not by a long shot. But it’s likely the one with the most surrounding property owned by influential Atlantans, including Mayor Kasim Reed, university doctors, and lawyers. Privacy signs are posted on full display at the entrance to the isolated OTP neighborhood near Cascade Road. Large tree canopies cover many of the lots before... | more...

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Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Five Public Projects that could fundamentally change Atlanta neighborhoods. | more...
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