the histories of our streets

Georgia State University students map Atlanta's past

Author: Oscar

Bowen Homes

Bowen Homes was an Atlanta Public Housing development built in 1964. It was one of the last developments that was demolished in 2009.  What was once one of Atlanta’s largest housing developments is now 74 acres of vacant land with only the abandoned A.D. Williams Elementary school left standing. Plans for redevelopment have been announced but work has yet to begin.

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A Neighborhood Erased

The construction of the highway system erased neighborhoods from Atlanta’s history. Between Capitol Ave. (Now Hank Aaron Drive) to the west, Fraser St. to the east and Fair St. (Now Memorial Dr.) to the north, Rawson St. to the south, existed two blocks of neighborhoods. Primarily a residential area, these two blocks reflect the shift in the racial and business make-up of the entire city.

1899 Sanborn Map
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Flame of Freedom

Flame of Freedom
Me in front of the Flame of Freedom

The Flame of Freedom stands at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr Drive SE and Piedmont Ave SW. It was presented and raised by the American Legion on March 15, 1969. It is dedicated to all the service members who served in the U.S. military. I used to pass this monument a lot when I would walk to campus. I think it is a nice way to commemorate those who served and thank those currently serving.

The Flame of Freedom is a part of the bigger Pete Wheeler Georgia War Veterans Memorial. It was dedicated in 1998. Pete Wheeler is a World War II veteran and long time commissioner for the Georgia Department of Veterans Affairs. It has plaques with the names of all the Georgia veterans who lost their lives in all the wars the U.S. has been involved in from the Revolutionary War to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Vietnam War Veterans
Vietnam War Veterans Memorial

It is a Blue Star Memorial which are memorials dedicated to the Armed Forces. The blue star was chosen because it was an icon during World War II. The blue star was used on flags and banners in homes of families who had sons or daughters away at war. These markers can be found nationwide on memorials and highways.

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