the histories of our streets

Georgia State University students map Atlanta's past

Author: ckennedy23

Gentrification in the Historic Old Fourth Ward

Caty Kennedy April 2022

From a small neighborhood filled with factories and small parks came what we know today as Ponce City Market, the Beltline, and 3,000 brand-new luxury apartment buildings. Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward has become so developed and gentrified, that it has been transformed into a whole new landscape.

The Old Fourth Ward neighborhood is located right between Downtown and the Beltline. Historically, O4W and its neighbor Sweet Auburn were home to prominent Civil Rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King and John Wesley Dobbs. Its population was racially mixed in the early 1900s. It used to house Mom and Pop shops and housed lower-income families from the late 1800s into the late 1900s.

Piedmont Park

My personal favorite spot near downtown is actually in Midtown and it’s Piedmont Park! I love this park, I think in the Spring and Summer it is one of the most relaxing places where I go and read in an eno. The park is located about 1 mile from downtown and is near Virginia Highlands and Midtown. The park’s land was originally owned by Dr. Benjamin Walker who intended on the land being used for racing horses. Years later, it was redesigned by the son of New York’s Central Park architect. Today, the park serves as a massive green space for people to come go for a run, visit the Saturday market, and admire the beautiful trees and nature. The park also hosts Music Midtown, Gardening classes, and various athletic clubs for Atlantans to enjoy.

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