As has been alluded to in other posts, this area thrived as a predominately Jewish community throughout the early 1900s, with waves of immigration from Eastern European Jews. Several Jewish Synagogues and Congregations could be found in this area. Some of the most notable Jewish congregations in this area included the Beth Israel Synagogue and the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation. However, over time, this Jewish community largely began to dissipate and move to other parts of Atlanta. Many of the Congregations and Synagogues either moved or closed down, and were replaced largely by Christian ones.

Further into the 1900s, we begin to see more and more of these Christian Congregations and Churches popping up throughout the area in the city directories, and a notable increase in the number of standalone shops and apartments. Several of the older Jewish synagogues and congregations in the area were either replaced by Christian congregations as the Jewish population moved out, or they were bulldozed and turned into Apartments.

By the time we reach the 1950s, much of the area consisted of Apartment complexes, including ones which were largely vacant throughout their existence. Many of the original homes also stood, but this notable increase in Apartments is significant in pointing out how the exodus of the Jewish community began changing the landscape of the area.

We also begin to see the City of Atlanta start making notable considerations in how they want to plan the interstate highways towards the middle of the century. In 1945, the City of Atlanta released an Urban Land Usage map that showed much of this area as largely residential with a few commercial buildings dotted throughout the area. However, much of this residential area was deemed as substandard. This designation likely reflected much of the changing demographics of the area and a negative attitude towards the racial makeup of the area, or simply reflected the fact that many of these homes were, at the time, fairly old in comparison to some of the newer neighborhoods in Atlanta. Either way, this designation likely ended up playing a large role in determining where the highways would intersect and bulldoze their way through the landscape.

By the time we reach the 1960s, and once the interstates have already razed much of these neighborhoods, we can see how they were used to create a dividing barrier between communities. In a 1962 Negro Residential map, we can see colored areas representing the areas populated by “Colored” races, and the non-colored areas populated by white people.

Fast forwarding to today, this area does not reflect much of its past. Many of the lots are vacant or empty, and a lot of the area consists of parking lots and parks developed in urban renewal efforts that served to replace the already-gutted community in this area. There are very few symbols of the significance that this area once had for Atlanta’s Jewish Community, or the people that lived here.

  1. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. Sanborn Map Company, Vol. 4, 1911. Map. ↩︎
  2. Atlanta City Directory Company. (1953) ↩︎
  3. Map of Atlanta: Negro Residential Areas 1962, Planning Atlanta City Planning Maps Collection, Georgia State University Library. ↩︎