the histories of our streets

Georgia State University students map Atlanta's past

Tag: Historic Buildings

Serving the Community: The Shopping Center that became Plaza Fiesta

Plaza Fiesta main entrance facing Clairmont Rd1

As a first-generation Mexican-American, Plaza Fiesta is a place with fond memories. The plaza was one of the rare places where I felt that I fit in, away from the stares of others. I grew up in a majority-white community in Cherokee County, Woodstock. So, getting to experience places like Plaza Fiesta occasionally was very refreshing for me and my family. Here, we didn’t have to worry about our English proficiency. Instead, we didn’t need English at all. My father got to ask all his silly questions without me having to translate them, and my mother got to feel a little less homesick. Granted, this is only one of many small spaces along Buford Highway that give Mexican families a sense of familiarity. However, Plaza Fiesta is different because it is the only market designed for Hispanic communities to spend their day like they would in their countries.

Looking at this lot’s history, we can see the evolution of Buford Highway and its demographic change. We will also see that the lot has always been geared towards the community in the area. This lot, along with many other spaces in the corridor, shows the adaptability and openness to new business regardless of race.

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The Georgia State Capitol

Western Facade of the Capital Blueprints1

If you were to think of the Georgia State Capitol, the image that would come to your mind would likely be the imposing building sitting just south of the Georgia State University MARTA station. Standing atop Capitol Square Block, the structure gated off from the outside. Several statues adorn the outside along with maintained lawns to give an almost park like appearance. The actual structure itself is four stories tall with four asystematical facades that adorn its outside. Its main entrance, the west main entrance, is the grandest of these facades. Carved into the stone above the west entrance in a relief carving are four figures and the seal of Georgia. On the right of the seal is a man and a woman. The man represents the armed forces with a helmet and sword and the woman represents peace with her horn of plenty. On the left side, there is another man and woman. The woman holds mercury and an anchor to symbolize trade while the man holds a hammer to symbolize industry. Yet, towering above the four figures is a fifth. Standing atop the capitol building at its highest point, standing on a dome of gold, is a robed women holding a sword and a torch representing the idea of liberty.

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Convergence of History: Exploring the Significance of 330 Auburn Ave NE

A photo of Prince Hall Masonic Lodge on Auburn Avenue.
1928 Atlas map showing the lot being vacant, in the lower right corner.
1928 Atlas map showing the lot being vacant, in the lower right corner.
1911 Sanborn map showing 330 Auburn Ave.
1911 Sanborn map showing 330 Auburn Ave.

Right on Auburn Avenue and Hillard street stands the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, a building that is a token of the historical Sweet Auburn passage. Before its pivotal role in history, the lot which now hosts the building, was vacant for a period of time, then a duplex was built on the vacant land, as indicated by historical maps.

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How the Expansion of Higher Education Transformed the Fairlie Poplar District

The Fairlie Poplar District is a walkable, pedestrian-oriented business center located in the middle of Downtown Atlanta, with a prevalence in food, shopping, and historic buildings that are concentrated within the heart of Atlanta’s central commercial region. This district and its surrounding areas effectively capture the exciting, diverse, and energetic atmosphere of a bustling inner city, featuring a variety of amenities that authentically serve the Atlanta population. Over the past century, the district as a whole has become a vibrant gathering location for Atlanta residents, with numerous pedestrian friendly qualities that create an inviting space to commence social interaction and establish a greater sense of community in this part of Downtown. While the district has undergone numerous structural changes in recent decades, the area has still managed to remain fairly preserved in terms of vibrance and walkability. Fairlie Poplar’s liveliness is especially apparent in comparison with many other historic regions in Atlanta, which have either been demolished completely or altered to accommodate a car dependent lifestyle. Streets that were once distinguished with unique character and architectural beauty over a century ago have been transformed by contemporary urban design, leaving behind a gray and institutional landscape that has been drained of its energy and culture.

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The Full Story of The Temple Bombing

The Temple, or as it was also known, The Hebrew Benevolent Congregation, was originally located at the corner of Richardson and Pryor. 1 It wasn’t until 1931 that the congregation moved further away from downtown and transferred to the intersection of Peachtree and Spring Street where it still stands today.2

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The Trolley Barn

Photograph of the Trolley Barn from Edgewood Avenue
Photograph of the Trolley Barn from Edgewood Avenue1

If you travel down Edgewood Avenue, you’ll pass through historic parts of Atlanta that have a deep and rich history with the city of Atlanta, including through the retail district and into the historic Inman Park neighborhood. This rich history extends throughout Edgewood Avenue, however there is one building which tends to stand out near the east end of Edgewood Avenue, near the Inman Park/Reynoldstown MARTA station — the Trolley Barn.

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The William Oliver Building: Atlanta’s Original Art-Deco Highrise

The William Oliver in 1930

Downtown Atlanta is certainly devoid of many of its original prominent buildings. Just a few, such as the comically endearing wedge-shaped Flatiron Building and the lavishly decorated Candler Building sit amongst modernist monuments to an era of Urban Renewal and post-war corporatism. One of these surviving buildings was also the city’s first entry into the Art Deco wave of the late ’20s and ’30s, the William Oliver building.

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Flatiron Building

Flatiron, Atlanta January 15, 2015. Posted by Taylor Gordon. Atlanta Backstar.

Flatiron, Atlanta January 15, 2015. Posted by Taylor Gordon. Atlanta Backstar.

The Flatiron Building of Atlanta Georgia

            Everyone who drives through Atlanta on interstate-85 will wind through the city passing by a multitude of skyscrapers. Coming south from the north, you will pass the iconic Olympic torch, the Varsity, the Bank of America plaza (the “Pencil building”), the W, and the Westin, among others. Atlanta is ever-growing as cranes are scattered throughout the city, adding more lines and structure to the skyline. But if you drive off the highway and head deeper into the city to find the Fairlie-Poplar Historic District, you can get a glimpse of the elders amongst the giants.

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George Muse’s Clothing Company

Hello! I’m Diana, student at Georgia State University located at the heart of Downtown Atlanta. As a student, I have embraced this great city and its history. One of my favorite buildings in Atlanta is the Muse Building. This structure was once the site of one of the largest retailers in the city, and perhaps, the Southeast. I have had fun researching and learning about this Muse’s and I hope that fellow residents, newcomers, and students enjoy reading.

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Rialto Center for the Arts

Hello fellow theater lovers! My name is Allison, and I live in Atlanta Georgia which is home to the Georgia State University campus, where I am currently studying history. Atlanta has been known as a home for the many beautiful theaters such as the Fox Theater as well as the Loew’s Grand Theater (which unfortunately is no longer a standing theater). My personal favorite theater is located right on the Georgia State Campus known as the Rialto Center for the Arts. I fell in love with the Rialto after going to a few of my school of music friends recitals. I wanted to further my knowledge in the history of this astonishing theater. The Rialto was a wonderful location to research and I hope you enjoy learning about this location as much as I did.

 

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