Talk of the Town - Inman Park February 10 2001

Community spirit inspires rebirth for historic area

Inman Park has always been known for its strong sense of community and beautiful older homes. As one of Atlanta's first suburbs, the neighborhood of Victorian houses and winding streets was developed in the 1880s for the very wealthy. Inman Park did not remain fashionable for long. By the 1920s, most of the houses were subdivided and Inman Park became one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Thirty years ago, however, a few intrepid Atlanta residents began renovating the neighborhood's quirky old houses, which held great appeal. From that time on, Inman Park began its rebirth as a "small town, downtown."
Lisa Burnette took one look at her turn-of-the-century Inman Park house and instantly fell in love. "We had been looking at ranch houses and in subdivisions and were unhappy with our options," she explains. "When we saw a flyer for a house in Inman Park, we told our agent that was what we were looking for." The house they settled on has all the unique features of an older house: high ceilings, stained glass windows and a claw-foot tub. Although the house was in good condition when they bought it five years ago, Lisa and her husband have still put time into renovations. "When you live in Inman Park your house is an ongoing project," says Burnette. "Everyone here is always working on something."
Inman Park resident Sue Tierney never expected to end up in one of the neighborhood's aging houses. She had always lived in very clean, stark, modern houses, but a strong sales pitch from another Inman Park resident changed her mind. "You don't have to like the house," the insistent neighbor told Tierney. "Move because of the neighborhood. That's why everyone loves Inman Park." The house has grown on Tierney, but the community spirit is still her favorite part of Inman Park. Over the years, Tierney has been involved with the neighborhood's well-known Inman Park Spring Festival and Tour of Homes, as well as numerous neighborhood committees and events. It's the informal community gatherings, however, that Tierney enjoys most. "We sit on our front porches and talk to each other," says Tierney. "You really know all of your neighbors well."

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