A Look at Atlanta's Historic Urban Core

May 19, 2014 13 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

When one thinks of a walkable city, Atlanta typically isn't the first place that comes to mind. Nevertheless, despite sprawling across North Georgia and the rapid growth over the last few decades, a pedestrian scale urban core still exists. Today, Metro Jacksonville takes a stroll through Atlanta's Five Points, South Downtown and Fairlie-Poplar districts.

Five Points


Five Points is where Marietta Street, Edgewood Avenue, Decatur Street and two legs of Peachtree Street meet. Atlantans consider Five Points to be the center of the city. It's the origin of the city's street addressing system.

Prior to the arrival of white settlers, Five Points was the intersection of two Creek Indian trails, the Pitch Tree (corrupted to Peachtree) Trail and the Sandtown Trail. In 1845, George Washington Collier opened a grocery store at what is now Five Points, and the store later served as Atlanta's first post office in 1846. In 1848, Five Points served as the location of Atlanta's first mayoral election. Moses Formwalt became Atlanta's first mayor, defeating Jonathan Norcross. In 1875, Atlanta's drinking water system began with the construction of three artesian wells at Five Points. The system delivered water to Atlanta's residents via wooden pipes.

Until the 1960s, Five Points represented the central hub of Atlanta. However, with the advent of urban sprawl, white flight, and the development of shopping malls, the economic and demographic center of Atlanta shifted northward, and Five Points went into decay. By the 21st century, the area was revitalizing, mostly due to the expansion of Georgia State University, which maintains a large footprint in Five Points.










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