Atlanta History
Evidence exists that Archaic Indians lived in the area in 6000BC, specifically in the area now covered by East Palisades (part of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area. Over time these early Indians evolved into a Woodlands culture that inhabited the area when an early Mound builder culture moved in, building a temple mound opposite the confluence of Peachtree Creek. Part of a transitional culture that exhibited traits of both the Hopewell and Mississippians, they controlled the flood plain of the Chattahoochee for miles, including all of present-day Atlanta.

Creek Indians, perhaps descended from the ancient Mound builder culture, were known to inhabit a village (Standing Peachtree) near the mound prior to the American Revolution. Before Fort Peachtree was built in 1813, an Indian path running from Suwanee which used to be the home of the Atlanta falcons training camp, to Standing Peachtree was upgraded by local men.  With this completed, Lieutenant George Gilmer left Fort Daniel (Hog Mountain in present-day Gwinnett County), traveled south on Peachtree Road and completed Fort Peachtree [Gilmer] on a small knob overlooking the Chattahoochee. At the time the fort was built this was the western edge of America's frontier and not a part of the state of Georgia.
Kimball House  --  Postcard

"The Kimball House. The original Kimball House was burned in 1885, and the present structure, covering almost an entire block, completed in 1894. The hotel, seven stories high, is the political headquarters of Georgia, is first-class and modern in every respect and contains 440 rooms. Ex-President Cleveland was entertained here in 1887, and many other distinguished guests have honored the hotel with their presence."
When the Creek ceded the land in 1821, Georgia created Henry and Fayette Counties in the area of Atlanta. These governments then ceded their northern area east of the Chattahoochee River to DeKalb County in 1823. During this time Montgomery's Ferry (later DeFoors Ferry), which crossed the Chattahoochee near the confluence of Peachtree Creek, became the first business in the area. 

One of the first acts of the new DeKalb County government was to build a more direct route from the city of Decatur (the county seat) to what was now called Fort Gilmer and Montgomery's Ferry. This was the first road to the east built from Peachtree Road and was called Sandtown Road. About halfway between Decatur and the ferry a town began to form at the intersection of Sandtown and Newnan Roads. In 1835 Charner Humphey built a clapboard covered, whitewashed home that served as a tavern and inn. With the addition of a post office Whitehall became large enough to have its own political designation as an election district. Anderson Walton built a popular resort near a spring in the mid-town area (presently Walton Park behind Peachtree Plaza Hotel).To the east of Whitehall an event occurred in 1837 that would change the history of the area forever. Western and Atlantic Railroad Chief Engineer Stephen A. Long approved the location of the southern terminus of that line on property owned by Hardy Ivy (present-day Courtland near International).  An employee of Long's, with the approval of Mr. Ivy, placed a marker to indicate the site where the W&ARR and the Georgia Railroad would meet. John Thrasher purchased land near the zero-mile marker and built a grocery store. Montgomery's Ferry, Walton's, and Whitehall, along with the terminus, formed the nucleus of the city that would become Atlanta.

From the east the Georgia Railroad pushed ahead, grading and laying track in a continuous operation. Meanwhile, work began on the roadbed of the Western and Atlantic. In 1838 the bridge over the Chattahoochee at Boltonville was completed. By 1840 grading had been completed through much of the corridor from Chattanooga to the terminus when Long quit. For two years the line would remain stagnant, but not the future city of Atlanta. Lemuel Grant, a civil engineer for the Georgia Railroad could not convince a local citizen to sell the railroad a right-of-way through his property west of Decatur. Grant, who was 24 at the time, bought the land out-of-pocket and then gave the railroad the right-of-way. It was the first of many land purchases made by Grant in the city he soon called home. 

In spite of Grant, Ivy, Thrasher and other citizens, the Terminus was a rowdy area filled with rail hands and prostitutes who lived in nearby shanties. In 1842, the terminus of the W&ARR moved east about a quarter mile to its present location at Underground Atlanta on land donated to the city by Samuel Mitchell. Additional land in this area was owned by Mitchell, Grant, and Grant's father-in-law, Ami Williams. Thrasher, disgusted with the move, packed up his store and left. In December, 1842, the locomotive Florida made the first run to Marietta. Terminus did not strike many citizens as a good name for the small group of buildings developing around the depot. Daughter of railroad proponent and former governor Wilson Lumpkin, Martha Atlanta Lumpkin had the town named in her honor in 1843 (Marthasville). Whitehall, along Sandtown Road, became known as West End, and both the post office and election district became Marthasville. 

Over the next two years the country suffered through one of the worst economic times of our history and growth in Atlanta came to a standstill, there were no new homes no jobs, people did not have very much food, and it was a very unhappy time in the southeast. Work on the Georgia Railroad continued west from the coast, but the Western and Atlantic Railroad struggled to lay rails. 1844 saw the arrival of Jonathan Norcross. His sawmill and lumber yard gave Marthasville one of its earliest non-railroad related businesses. John E. Thomson, Chief Engineer of Georgia Railroad proposed Atlanta as a suitable name for the new town and in 1845 the name was changed. Mr. Thomson told varying stories as to how he came up with the name; our favorite is that he altered Martha Lumpkin's middle name Atlanta. That same year rail service finally came to the city.
Peachtree Street Viaduct
It was a time of many firsts between 1845 and 1847. In addition to the first doctor, first newspaper and first school, the city adds a third railroad, the Macon and Western. Finally, late in 1847, Atlanta is incorporated. The town is defined as extending 1 mile from the Terminus. The battle for control of the city had begun. Atlanta's first election in 1848 drew only 215 voters. They chose Free and Rowdy candidate Moses Formwalt over Moral Party candidate Jonathan Norcross. Each voter had to travel no more than a mile to get to Thomas Kil's general store, located near Five Points. Formwalt, in spite of the name of his party, did begin to move Atlanta forward during his term, as did the six city councilmen elected at the same time. Together they built sidewalks, improved roads, and moved the city cemetery from a small corner lot downtown to the outskirts of the city. Norcross continued running his lumber business, pretty much realizing that time (and growth) was on his side. One key element of growth was communication. In 1849 the city got its first telegraph. Additionally, thanks to a major fire at Augustus Wheat's Livery that spread to his general store and other businesses, the city formed a volunteer fire department. To the east of Atlanta, Stone Mountain had been early competition. Each year they held the South Central Agricultural Society fair there, one year attracting famed showman P. T. Barnum. In 1850 the fair moved to the grounds on present-day Memorial Drive (it was renamed from Fair St.). Then in 1851 a new election was held for mayor. Formwalt decided not to run, but Jonathon Norcross had an uphill battle. According to Atlanta historian Franklin Garrett, the election was so bitter that the city was lucky there were no fatalities. 

During Mayor Norcross's first term, Atlanta began a growth that, with the exception of the end of the Civil War, was simply astounding. Railroads made Atlanta a major hub, and Hartfield Jackson Airport today keeps Atlanta in the drivers seat as the New york of the south.. Beginning with the Western and Atlantic and Georgia Railroad others joined at the expanding facility near the center of town. The Atlanta and LaGrange, the Macon and Western, and the Memphis and Charleston to name a few. Rapid expansion characterized not only Atlanta but the surrounding area and in 1854 the state legislature created a new political division within which the city of Atlanta was completely contained -- Fulton County. A combined county courthouse and city hall was built where the capital sits today. 

As Atlanta grew more prosperous the number of slaves began to increase as well. Slave auctions became common starting in the early 1850's. The Atlanta Intelligencer, started as a weekly newspaper in 1849 became a daily newspaper in 1854. Within a year the streets were lit by gas lighting. Atlanta suffered only a glancing blow from the Panic of 1857. In the 1860 census, on the eve of the War Between the States, the city had 7,741 residents, about 25% of them slaves. Victory at Manasas sent a shudder of southern joy into the hearts of the men and women in Atlanta. It would not last long. With a year rampant inflation and severe shortages impacted the growing city. Then in the northwest corner of the state came hope - Braxton Bragg and the Army of Tennessee had turned back the Union Army at Chickamauga. General Ulysses S. Grant turned the tables in Chattanooga and before long the Union Army was knocking at Atlanta's front door.
1942 Post Card
Serving as a military hospital from 1862 to 1864 the population swelled to 20,000 by the time William Tecumseh Sherman's army began the slow strangulation of the Gateway City. Spreading east, then closing in from the north, Sherman fought the Battle of Peachtree Creek and the Battle of Atlanta. Yet he had been unable to dislodge the Confederate Army from the transportation hub. He ordered his cavalry to ride - destroy the final rail link - which they could not accomplish. Fed up with their inability Sherman ordered 60,000 men to march in a dramatic sweep to a small town south of Atlanta, Jonesborough. Here the outnumbered Rebels fought a delaying action to give John Bell Hood enough time to evacuate Atlanta on September 1, 1864. The following day Jonathan Norcross was called on to surrender the city not to William Tecumseh Sherman but to Henry Slocum. Sherman declared the city a military zone and ordered the civilians to leave. Mayor Norcross protested to no avail. The men, women and children had two choices, leave the city heading north or leave the city heading south. Once Sherman secured the area he set out to complete his orders. The destruction of the Confederate Army. Atlanta depot after the March to the Sea came through the city. Unfortunately for Sherman, General John Bell Hood had enough guts, daring and land to keep Sherman guessing for two months. Then Sherman came up with a bold plan of his own, The March to the Sea. Four days into the March to the Sea Sherman burned the city of Atlanta creating for himself two titles, "The Father of Modern Warfare" and "The Father of Urban Renewal. "With the United States Army leaving the city, the citizens could return, although Atlanta was merely a shell of its former self. All the railroads and depots had been destroyed, as had many of the other buildings. Shanty towns housed many of the citizens and slowly the engine of commerce once again began to move. Merchants returned with to the city with their stock. By Christmas Day, 1864, the city of Atlanta (back in Confederate hands) was giving thanks. The war was lost in May, 1865 and on June 27 the United States took control of the Military Department of Georgia, headquartered in Atlanta. Two weeks later the city council made an extraordinary move - it declared that any law making "negroes guilty of crimes different from white people be repealed." Still, the growing community needed a bank. On September 2, 1865, General Alfred Austel and others formed the Atlanta National Bank. It opened for business 3 months later. An 1866 census revealed that 250 businesses had rebuilt or would complete rebuilding by the end of the year. Population had quickly returned to the 20,000 person mark. Atlanta was occupied by the U. S. Army and would remain so until 1872. In 1868, however, a military move would change the Gateway City forever.
Atlanta became the capital of the state of Georgia. is a young city, even by American standards. New Orleans, Charleston, Cincinnati and Chattanooga were all thriving cities before Atlanta was even a settlement.  Atlanta is a bright, brash, aggressive town; tempered by fire, its rough edges smoothed by time and dashing with southern charm.  Despite its relative youth, Atlanta has a proud and unique heritage and a past well worth preserving. Today, the city's seal includes a fiery Phoenix rising from ashes. After the Civil War, the city was indeed rebuilt from ashes, and with tireless work and promotion by its residents, the city continued to prosper and grow. It became the capital of Georgia in 1868.  From the beginning, Atlanta was in the South but not of the South.  Founded as a rail terminus, ante-bellum Atlanta was a small, rough-and-ready railroad crossing.  Its manners and mores were more like the frontier towns of the Old West than the mint julep and magnolia cities of the Old South.  Transportation was, and still is, the catalyst for Atlanta's growth and economic vitality. From the beginning, Atlanta attracted men and women of vision---opportunists who had the foresight to provide the facilities that would make Atlanta the most important city in the Southeast. Over 150 years ago, the land that is now Atlanta belonged to the Creek and Cherokee Indians. 

The United States was well into the War of 1812 when the first white settlement, Fort Peachtree, was established on the banks of the Chattahoochee River near the Cherokee village of Standing Peachtree. The Creek Nation ceded their lands to the State of Georgia in 1825. The Cherokees lived with their white neighbors until 1835 when the leaders of the Cherokee nation agreed to leave their lands and move west under the Treaty of New Echota. At that time, Georgia officially took possession of Cherokee lands, an act that led to the infamous Trail of Tears. Like every great city, Atlanta has always been equal parts reality and aspiration. The city's promoters continually dreamed of ways to expand Atlanta's influence. The city hosted the Cotton States and International Exposition in 1895, lured the regional branch of the Federal Reserve Bank to locate here in 1914, and by the 1920s began to aggressively recruit businesses and industries to relocate to the city. Emory was brought to Atlanta from Oxford, Georgia, in 1915.
Peachtree Street
Early settlers in the Atlanta area were farmers and craftsmen from Virginia, the Carolinas and the mountains of North Georgia.  They obtained their land by lottery disbursement and were, for the most part, deeply religious, hard-working, small landholders.  They owned few slaves and lived in harmony with their Indian neighbors.  They established churches and schools, traveled to Decatur for "store-bought" goods and marketed their cotton in Macon, 100 miles south. They were as close to a yeoman (small farmers/craftsmen) society as possible in the ante-bellum South.  A few of their pre-Civil War homes, churches, cemeteries and mills still exist in the Metropolitan Atlanta area.  Atlanta's inception was a combination of geography and necessity, spawned by the steam engine.  In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build a state railroad to provide a trade route from the Georgia coast to the Midwest.  The sparsely settled Georgia Piedmont was chosen as the terminal for a railroad that was to run "from some point on the Tennessee line near the Tennessee River, commencing... near Rossville... to a point on the southeastern bank of the Chattahoochee River" accessible to branch railroads.  The new railroad was to be called the Western and Atlantic Railroad of the State of Georgia. An experienced army engineer, Colonel Stephen Harriman Long, was selected to choose the most practical route for the new rail line.  After thoroughly surveying half-a-dozen routes, Long found it necessary to choose a site eight miles south of the river where connecting ridges and Indian trails converged.  He drove a stake into the red clay near what is now Five Points in Downtown Atlanta.  The "zero milepost" today is marked by a plaque not far from that very spot in Underground Atlanta.  The site staked out by Colonel Long proved to be perfect, the climate ideal. 
Peachtree St. looking N. from Marietta St.
The White Way Atlanta Ga.
Atlanta is situated on the Piedmont Plateau at an elevation of 1,050 feet, yet there are no natural barriers such as mountains or large bodies of water to impede the city's growth. In the fourteen short years between the time Colonel Long drove his marker into the ground and the start of the Civil War, Atlanta grew like the boom towns of the West.  Instead of mining, Atlanta struck gold in the rail lines. The little settlement of railroad workers, aptly named Terminus, soon attracted merchants and craftsmen, salesmen, land speculators and opportunists.  Banks, warehouses, sawmills, a fledgling textile industry and ironworks soon followed.  The city was re-named Marthasville in honor of Governor Lumpkin's daughter.  A few years later, prominent citizens decided that Marthasville was too long and too bucolic a name for such a progressive city and the name was changed to Atlanta. Residential patterns were forming.  Mechanicsville grew up around the rail yards; a substantial merchant-residential community. West End was established near White Hall Tavern. Residential avenues of affluent citizens began to form as luxurious homes were built on lower Peachtree, Whitehall, Marietta, Broad and Washington Streets. But pre-war Atlanta was far from a quiet business community. 

Atlanta had already attained a position of regional importance when the Civil War erupted.  The city had four rail lines, a population of some 10,000 persons, 3,800 homes, iron foundries, mills, warehouses, carriage and wheelwright shops, tanneries, banks and various small manufacturing and retail shops.  It became the supply and shipping center of the Confederacy.  Atlanta had all the facilities that made it necessary for Sherman to take the city and destroy it. General William Tecumseh Sherman began his drive to Atlanta from Chattanooga in July, 1864.  After a series of bloody battles and a month long siege of the city, Atlanta surrendered on September 2.  The city was in flames, but not entirely due to Union shells.  Retreating Confederate troops blew up 81 boxcars of explosives, creating the blaze made famous in the spectacular fire scene in the film "Gone With The Wind."                                                                                                         POST-WAR GROWTH

                                                                     Since the Battle of Atlanta had effectively wiped out most of the          
                                                                     city's ante-bellum architecture, Atlanta was rebuilt in the various 
                                                                     Victorian styles popular in that era.  Ironically, of the few fine 
                                                                     white-columned mansions in downtown Atlanta left intact by the 
                                                                     war, two were demolished shortly thereafter to be replaced by city 
                                                                     and state buildings.  The city limits were initially circular, extending 
                                                                     one mile from the zero milepost.  Initial expansions of the city limits 
                                                                     were circular, too.  Early demographic patterns were re-established 
                                                                     along much the same lines as before the war.  West End continued 
                                                                     to grow as an upper-class residential-business community.  Wealthy       
                                                                     white citizens built their Victorian mansions along Washington and     
                                                                     Peachtree Streets. In spite of the system of segregation, prosperous 
                                                                     black enclaves emerged, concentrated after 1906 along Auburn 
            Grand Opera House                     Avenue-the "Sweet Auburn" district.  Other black neighborhoods 
                                                                     developed in Summerhill, Vine City and many more residential pockets surrounding the central city. From the end of the Civil War through the 1890's, Atlanta experienced rapid growth.  By the end of the 1870's, the central business district spread from Union Depot toward the city limits.  The city developed along the rail lines and around the depot.  A wide path of railroad tracks cut right through the center of town, converging in the lower downtown gulch.  A network of viaducts, planned in the early 1900's and completed a quarter-of-a-century later, was built to facilitate the flow of traffic over the tracks.  The viaducts moved the business district up one level, thereby creating the area now known as Underground Atlanta. A simple, utilitarian Italianate architecture was favored for Atlanta's railroad depots and influenced the design of the two and three story commercial buildings constructed before the turn-of-the-century.  The railroads continued to be the cornerstone of Atlanta's economy through this period and into the automobile age and through World War II, when emphasis shifted to truck and air travel transport.  Transportation and private enterprise spurred the city's growth.  Several new rail lines were added to Atlanta's network in the 1890's.  The consolidation of ten radiating lines in that decade, including five divisions of Southern Railway, definitely established Atlanta's dominance as the railroad center of the southeast. 

When the nation's economy stalled in the doldrums of recession and depression starting in the 1880s, an Atlanta promoter staged a series of fairs and expositions to bring business to this area. The International Cotton Exposition of 1881 was staged to promote Atlanta as a textile center and lure mills from New England in an attempt to build a new economic base in the post-war South by diversifying from the region's agrarian base.  The Piedmont Exposition of 1881 was a regional show to publicize the Piedmont States' products and establish closer ties between agriculture and industry.  The Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, specifically proposed to counteract depression, advertised Atlanta as a transportation and commercial center.  Historians consider the Exposition of 1895 a most important factor in Atlanta's emergence as the major city of the Southeast, based on Henry Grady's "New South" movement to re-enter the economic mainstream of American life.  The Exposition gained world-wide publicity and by 1903 Atlanta was the headquarters for many national and regional companies. The fair and exposition had the desired effect on Atlanta's growing industrial base as contrasted with the rest of the agrarian-oriented South.  Textile mills came south, industrial complexes were built along the rail lines and mill villages were built to house the workers.  One of the oldest and largest cotton mills is the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills (c. 1881). Its mill housing district, Cabbagetown, is located within two miles of downtown Atlanta.  Workers from the mountain counties of North Georgia, attracted by mill wages, left their Appalachian homes to settle here.  The mill owners provided housing and health care. Cabbagetown, a six-block-square area in the shadow of the mill buildings, is characterized by narrow streets, large shade trees, simple frame one and two-story shotguns and cottages with Victorian styling in porch, door and window designs.
Peachtree Street and Broad Street
Great White Way
Atlanta Ga.
A forerunner of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills was the Exposition Mill, which is now demolished.  The Exposition mill was built on the former site of Oglethorpe Park as the main building for the International Cotton Exposition of 1881, with a view to its ultimate use as a cotton mill.  The Exposition building was sold to a group of businessmen a few months after the show closed and soon was put into production. It developed into one of the most 
important mills in the area.  Other historic mills still standing in Atlanta are the VanWinkle Gin and Machine Company (c. 1893) and the Whittier Mill (c. 1900),  along with some of its mill houses. 

Atlanta's residential perimeters were expanded by the advent of the horse-drawn streetcar in 1871 and suburban patterns developed along the lines of the electric streetcar starting in 1891. At the same time, several major private developers emerged.  Among these early Atlanta builders was Joel Hurt, who built Atlanta's first "skyscraper," as well as the eight-story Equitable Building and Inman park, Atlanta's first planned residential suburb.  At the suggestion of architect John Root, who was then designing the Equitable Building, Hurt invited Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture, to Atlanta for consultation.  Olmsted had already won national recognition for his natural terrain designs of New York's Central Park and Riverside Park in Chicago and his influence is evident in many of Atlanta's parks and residential areas.  Inman Park was actually designed by landscape gardener Joseph Johnson; but the plan strongly reflects the Olmsted influence. The design is faithful to the natural terrain, with curved streets developed around open park areas. Edgewood Avenue was built in a straight line to connect Inman Park to downtown Atlanta and Hurt installed Atlanta's first electric streetcar on Edgewood to serve his new suburban community.  Olmsted's firm also designed the suburb of Druid Hills and influenced the Ansley Park plan. During this same period, the early 1880's, Confederate Colonel Lemuel P. Grant donated land to the city for Grant Park.  Replacing  Oglethorpe Park, it is Atlanta's oldest public park extant.  Piedmont Park was initially part of the Gentlemen's (Piedmont) Driving Club.    The new skyscrapers attracted large railroad and insurance interests.  Since office workers generally earned higher wages than factory or farm workers, the office buildings generated a demand for large retail stores and hotels to serve an increasing number of travelers to the city.  It was not until after the World War I that businessmen began to look at office buildings as an investment.  This led to the building boom of the 1920's.  A system of viaducts, conceived by architect Haralson Bleckley in 1901 and completed in 1928-1929, bridged the railroad gulch and raised the street level of downtown Atlanta.  The original plan, conceived in the City Beautiful Beaux Arts tradition, included boulevards, walkways and parks. The Great Depression had an architectural style all its own:  Art Deco-Modern.  Although building starts were sharply curtailed during this period of national economic hardship, a few of the commercial buildings that were constructed from the 1930s to World War II reflected the new Art Deco styling.  Most residential buildings of the decade clung to the revival styles of architecture. The early commercial buildings and the Victorian and post-Victorian homes built in the 1890 to 1930 period give Atlanta its distinctive personality.  Many of these structures are potentially viable today and could be preserved, restored and rehabilitated for contemporary uses.  The viaducts, which created the area now known as Underground Atlanta, and Plaza Park, completed in 1950, are the only elements of the Bleckley Plaza plan ever completed. A variety of architectural styles evolved between 1890 and 1930, following national trends reviving elements of Gothic, Classical and Colonial styles. Turn-of-the-century revival architecture includes Beaux Arts Classicism, Neo-Classical, Tudor-Jacobean, Renaissance Revival, Colonial Revival and Commercial styles. 
Marietta Street Looking West
In addition, Bungalow-Craftsman and 20th Century Vernacular-Plain styles emerged.  There are many fine examples of these varied styles of architecture created by outstanding architects and craftsmen still standing in Atlanta.  Excellent examples of homes constructed during this era of suburban growth may be found in the Druid Hills, Buckhead and Ansley Park neighborhoods. Without these beautifully detailed old structures, Atlanta would be Anywhere, USA-  a skyline of high-rises, round and square, pre-stressed concrete and mirrored glass sameness. Atlanta is the Capitol city of the southeast, a city of the future with strong ties to its past.  The old in new Atlanta is the soul of the city, the heritage that enhances the quality of life in a contemporary city.  Without these artifacts of our culture, Atlanta would simply not be Atlanta.  In the turbulent 60's, Atlanta was " the city too busy to hate." It must never become the city too busy to care. 
Birds Eye View of Atlanta’s Business Center 1916
Whitehall & Marietta St. 1905

1872 Atlanta GA Real Estate Broker Letterhead
Office of C.C. Hammock, Real Estate Broker of 
Atlanta Georgia  March 24th 1872.
Piedmont Driving Club
Harpers Weekly
Shown: Modern Residence, Capitol Avenue,
Peachtree St. Cottage, A Villa,
Doctor’s Residence, Washington St. Merchant’s House,
Suburban Home, Corner of Whitehall & Hunter St.
Peachtree & Broad Streets
Georgian Terrace and
Ponce de Leon Apartments
1938 Post Card
Colonial Terrace Hotel
2140 Peachtree Road N.W.
Atlanta’s Only Resort Hotel
Open All Year ‘Round
In 1990 Atlanta won the bid to host the 1996 Centennial Olympic games. This feat announced to the world that the city was not a regional city and Peachtree Street Atlanta Ga. not a city of mere national importance. Atlanta proclaimed itself an international city. The Olympic bid was once again a combination of reality and aspiration, but the dreamers made it happen. Today the city is truly of international importance. To quote Atlanta historian Franklin Garrett:  "while the number of good, moral citizens was increasing... the town was characterized as tough.  It grew distinctively a railroad center with the vices common to rough frontier settlements. Drinking, resorts, gambling dives and brothels were run wide open... and the sporting element were insolent in their defiance of public order."  There were more saloons than churches; more bawdy houses than banks.  Members of the Club were a leading force in Atlanta's progressive development.  The land was leased to the Exposition Company for the Cotton States Exposition in 1895 and later became a public park.  The Olmsted Brothers re-designed the park in 1910. Beginning with the Equitable Building, Atlanta quickly followed the Chicago School of architecture in the development of skyscrapers of "elevator buildings."  The new high-rise buildings transformed the city's skyline from picturesque High Victorian to a cluster of multi-use skyscraper hotels and office buildings. 
Postcard 1907
Left - This antiquated looking old structure, which is standing today in an out of the way on Trinity Ave. not far from Trinity Methodist Church, where if receives scant attention at the hands of the passerby, is the first two story frame building ever erected in Atlanta. No special effort has been made to preserve it, but some mysterious providence has kept it from disappearing, and even amid the ravages of civil war when the city itself was destroyed by the torch and nearly every building burned to the ground, it managed to survive.
Dating back to 1836, it was erected by the owners of the Western & Atlantic Railroad when this place, which was then an almost uninhabited wilderness, was first chosen as the terminal point of the line, and it was used as the headquarters of the company while work of constructing the line was in progress. Ex - Chief Justice Logan E. Bleckly once kept books for the company in this building and religious services were frequently held upstairs by visiting ministers who came to the frontier settlement for the purpose of preaching to the future history makers of Atlanta. Originally the building stood on the site of what is now the Brown block near the Union passenger depot, but it was subsequently moved to where it now stands.
( this was written in 1902)