the histories of our streets

Georgia State University students map Atlanta's past

Author: Jasmine Munoz

Georgia State Convocation Center

GSU shuttles line up outside Convocation Center to pick up students.
GSU shuttles picking students up from the Convocation Center1

In 2020 contractor Brassfield & Gorrie broke ground to build Georgia State University’s Convocation Center.2 This premier facility has already been incorporated into GSU’s operations, hosting athletics and graduation ceremonies, among many other events. Occupying an entire block across from GSU’s Blue Lot, its presence looms large in Summerhill. The center has yet to see a class from freshman convocation through commencement, and this newness raises a question: how did GSU acquire the land, and what was there before?

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Beneath the Convocation Center

In 2020 contractor Brassfield & Gorrie broke ground to build Georgia State University’s Convocation Center—a state-of-the-art facility used for athletics, graduation ceremonies, and many other events.1 What ground did they break? Was the area always just another one of Atlanta’s many parking lots?

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Author in front of the Muse's sign
Me in front of the Muse’s sign

This is the street level sign for Muse’s. I like how the font is stylized, even though it makes it nearly impossible to read. I used to overlook this building, but it comes up a lot in the history of Atlanta. Muse’s used to be a major high-end clothing store. It was known for its designer brands, upper class clientele, and unmatched customer service. Today, it has become lofts. My attention was drawn to it because it came up in an apartment search, and I was confused as to how I had missed an entire apartment building downtown.

I got curious, so I went to go look. Sure enough, there was an entrance to The Lofts at Muses. The original Muse’s Clothing Co. engraving is still legible a couple stories above the Lofts entrance. Downtown Atlanta is so dense with buildings that it is all too easy to miss intricate details like these. I have gained a newfound appreciation for the history stored in Atlanta’s architecture.

Atlanta’s downtown buildings have rich histories–if you are willing to learn! Judging from the sign, I would have never guessed it was a fancy department store. The street level has a busted up ATM, and I never hear much about the lofts, but Muse’s was grandstanding in its heyday.

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