Built Environment Description: Atlantic Station
Atlantic Station is isolated from the assemblage of downtown, creating a more residential environment. It is characterized by surrounding townhouses and brick apartments, with green yards and walkways as well as ornate statues decorating the landscape. Many people are out walking dogs or sitting on covered porches in the nearby area. The entrance to Atlantic Station follows walkways of cobblestone, through gates that lead to subterranean parking garages that offer valet and are heavily policed. There was a police officer at almost every corner of the shopping area, standing and observing in a singular spot the entire time I walked around. The conglomeration of stores is centered around a pristine green garden area, with an expansive lawn and many flowers. A majority of families with younger children were concentrated here, sitting on benches or running around on the lawn. The stores within the Station are modern and trendy, and many target youth or younger customers. Each storefront bears a similar façade of brick, which creates uniformity across the entire Station. I went inside Kinnucan’s, H&M, and American Apparel, which were overwhelmingly populated by individual or groups of teens.
There are many nicer restaurants in the Station, in between shops for the convenience of consumers. Most are sit-down restaurants, which contribute to a common trend within Atlantic Station; from the expansive lawn with benches to the availability of spaces and restaurants where consumers break and relax, the environment encourages longevity, and invited people to stay. My family ate at the Cheesecake Bistro, whose façade bears a sign that discourages hats and other informal apparel. The interior of the restaurant was decorated with golds and velvets, and the elaborate names of entrees, the large portion sizes, and the relatively high expense of meals allocate a certain sophistication or class to the establishment. The restaurant was mostly filled with younger couples in their twenties, or older parents accompanied by their adult offspring. Overall, most people in attendance at Atlantic Station were younger, and there were many families but few with younger children. Nearby there are numerous apartments, and a Publix and Target that easily supply the weekly necessities for nearby residents. Atlantic Station and the surrounding area is reminiscent of a small, self-functioning town. Its stratification from the rest of Downtown almost resembles a detachment from the mundane world. The environment and its people felt somewhat dystopic, especially in comparison with the downtown area of Georgia State; there were no signs of homelessness, many people were exercising or with pets alongside the streets, and there was an emphasis on art and culture in the trends reflected in the statues, stores, and homes and tenants of the area.