the histories of our streets

Georgia State University students map Atlanta's past

Author: Rachel Trent

Spelman College

Spelman College is currently regarded as one of the most highly esteemed and respected colleges dedicated to the higher education of African American women. The school has a long history that has led to this achievement.

Gates of Spelman College

Spelman’s beginnings may surprise some due to its distinguishment as an HBCU. Originally named Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, Spelman College was founded in 1881 by Sophia Packard and Harriet Giles. Both were white women who hailed from Massachusetts and came to Atlanta with the hope of establishing a school for young black women. Backed by financial support from the Woman’s American Baptist Home Mission Society (WABHMS) and others, Giles and Packard opened a school in the basement of Friendship Baptist Church, an African American church in southwest Atlanta.

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The Candler Hotel

Despite living in Atlanta while attending classes at GSU, I have explored Atlanta very little. I basically stick to walking around areas where there are school buildings and leave the rest alone. Because of this, the spot that I chose as my favorite is one right by Aderhold building. The Candler Hotel is a beautiful historic hotel that was built over 100 years ago and still remains a landmark in Atlanta. It’s construction was funded by Asa Candler, the founder of Coca Cola. At the time it was built, it was the tallest building in the city This is my favorite spot because every day when I leave my last class at Aderhold, I get to go out and see this magnificent piece of architecture. My classes end at five in the afternoon and the sun at this time makes the building glow in a stunning manner. There are so many details put into the carvings on the outside of the building that I love to stare at as I pass by. It is an aesthetically pleasing site and I’m glad I get to enjoy it everyday that I’m down as GSU. To be honest I did not even know this building was the Candler Hotel until we learned about the sites of the 1906 riot. I had always just thought of it as some random pretty building. I’m excited that I will get to see the inside soon and hope it is as beautiful as the outside.

Candler hotel building
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