the histories of our streets

Georgia State University students map Atlanta's past

Tag: Memorials

Oakland Cemetery Origins

Oakland Cemetery Entrance. Photo by John Chapman (4 April, 2016)

Oakland Cemetery Entrance. Photo by John Chapman (4 April, 2016)

Oakland Cemetery serves as one of the key landmarks of antebellum Atlanta, Georgia. Oakland Cemetery sits in stark contrast to the rest of the city with its towering trees, rather than towering building, and its old brick roads rather than hot black asphalt. Oakland Cemetery serves as a monument to Georgia’s past while simultaneously growing and morphing with the present. It is general knowledge that some of the city’s most influential characters, such as Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones, lay at rest within its walls and it is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta. However, who in the city knows about the erection of the eastern wall or the problems that had to be handled in Oakland’s early years? A great deal of Oakland’s history remains a mystery to the people of Atlanta and throughout this analysis I will shed light on its origin story. Continue reading

John Wesley Dobbs Plaza

Photo shot by author

Photo shot by author

Talking a walk down Auburn Avenue is an experience that many Atlanta residents and tourists have enjoyed. When walking down Auburn, it is easy to be taken aback by how beautiful the birth home of Dr. King is. It is easy for residents and tourist to stop and admire the burial site of Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King. Tourists and residents are blown away when they view the massive mural of civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis. With all of these civil rights giants in one small street it is easy to understand why the John Wesley Dobbs Plaza on the corner of Auburn and Fort Street does not get much attention. Hundreds of people drive or walk pass the plaza on a daily basis and yet one does not find many people stepping inside the plaza and admiring the statue of John Wesley Dobbs. The plaza is overshadowed by the presence of Dr. King’s historical site and John Lewis’ mural, which is an appropriate metaphor as to how the legacy of Mr. Dobbs has been largely forgotten by the mainstream public.

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Thomas E. Watson

Across the street from the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta lays a small enclosure at the intersection of Washington and Mitchell Street called Talmadge plaza. When you stroll past Governor Herman Tallmadge’s statue there, a twelve-foot tall bronze figure can be seen overlooking the small square. The somber epithet “Honor’s Path He Trod” is chiseled beneath the figure’s feet. It’s the statue of the infamous Southern demagogue himself, Thomas E. Watson. Continue reading

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