Atlanta's Hippest Hood
East Atlanta Village
Atlanta's Hippest Hood
The East Atlanta neighborhood is Atlanta’s eclectic neighborhood and offers a wide variety of activities and recreation for single folks and families alike. South of Interstate 20 and east of Grant Park, East Atlanta’s hub is the East Atlanta Village. East Atlanta is a great walkable neighborhood with active business and community associations. East Atlanta is within NPU-W in the city of Atlanta.
The name East Atlanta Village primarily refers to the neighborhood's commercial district. East Atlanta lies entirely within DeKalb County and is bounded by Interstate 20 and Kirkwood to the north, Moreland Avenue and the neighborhoods of North Ormewood Park, Ormewood Park and Woodland Hills, to the west. Parts of unincorporated DeKalb County, such as Gresham Park and Candler-Mcafee, share borders with East Atlanta to the south and east.
Prior to the arrival of American colonists, the area had been dominated by the Creek Native American people. The Sandtown-Flat Shoals Trail existed along high ground as part of a trade route system between the Chattahoochee River and the coast. This trail would eventually become Flat Shoals Avenue.
During the Civil War, Atlanta became a major supply hub of the southern war effort and a major target of the northern war effort. Lemuel P. Grant designed the city's fortifications to protect his plantation on the eastside of the city in what is now Grant Park. General James B. McPherson placed his Yankee forces on high ground a mile east of Grant's plantation, the area today known as East Atlanta. Today many historic markers dot the neighborhood including two upturned cannons where Confederate General Walker and Union General McPherson were killed. By the late 1890s Asa Candler, Joel Hurt, Frederic Patterson, and Aaron Haas, founders of the Metropolitan Streetcar Company, developed the McPherson Park subdivision to provide ridership for their electric streetcar line and housing for new store clerks in the area.
In 1905, lumber and railroad baron William Zuber built a large white columned frame mansion as a wedding present for his new bride on property that fronts Flat Shoals. The house is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The East Atlanta Banking Company entered the East Atlanta community in 1911, moving into its new building at Flat Shoals and Glenwood - shaped like an old fashioned "flat iron". The building is now home to a bar (appropriately named "Flatiron").
The land to the south of Glenwood Avenue was owned by former Georgia Governor Joseph Emerson Brown. With Brown's support, a grid of streets was planned around a 13-acre public green space, a model for the "urban utopian living" that was being touted at the time. After 1915, in a series of votes, East Atlanta residents chose to be annexed into the city limits of Atlanta in order to gain access to fire protection and public education.
After World War II the undeveloped center of the neighborhood was subdivided and developed by the Williams brothers who were born and raised in East Atlanta and had built a lumber and concrete business nearby on Glenwood Avenue. During the 1960s, under the protection of the Fair Housing Act, middle-class black families were assisted in efforts to purchase houses in the area. In 1981, the East Atlanta Community Association was founded to bolster a sense of community in the neighborhood. Due to determined efforts by residents to improve their neighborhood and demand for "affordable" in-town housing, the average price of a house in East Atlanta has risen steadily since the late 1990s. In 2005 the first phase of a public works project to enhance the pedestrian environment in the business district occurred. In 2007-08, the East Atlanta Village was voted "Best Neighborhood" in the city by readers of weekly newspaper Creative Loafing
East Atlanta Village (EAV) offers great restaurants, music venues, coffee shops and bookstores. Brownwood Park offers tennis and basketball courts as well as a children’s playground. The East Atlanta Farmer’s market is open from May through October, every Thursday and is a popular gathering place for residents.
East Atlanta hosts a number of popular annual events, including the East Atlanta Strut, a free annual one day neighborhood festival, which includes a neighborhood parade. All proceeds benefit local charities, B*ATL – a neighborhood festival commemorating the anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta, which was fought on land that is now part of East Atlanta. East Atlanta Craft Beer Festival – an annual one day craft beer festival held at Brownwood Park. The festival includes over 230 beers from all regions of the planet, music and food vendors. Proceeds benefit local charities via a grant process that serves the Atlanta Community. East Atlanta Twilight Criterium is a day of bicycle races and events that take place in East Atlanta Village and on surrounding residential streets every August.
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