Midtown Atlanta

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Midtown Atlanta
Midtown HDR Atlanta.jpg
Midtown skyline viewed from Piedmont Park
Atlanta Central.png
Red pog.svg
Midtown Atlanta
Midtown location in Central Atlanta
Coordinates: 33°47′12″N84°22′46″W / 33.7868014°N 84.3795169°W / 33.7868014; -84.3795169 Coordinates: 33°47′12″N84°22′46″W / 33.7868014°N 84.3795169°W / 33.7868014; -84.3795169
Country United States
State Georgia
County Fulton County
City City of Atlanta
Council District2 (most)
NPU E
Neighborhoods
Area
  Total3.8 sq mi (10 km2)
  Midtown Core0.9 sq mi (2.9 km2)
  Midtown Core and Historic Midtown1.4 sq mi (4.9 km2)
 Source: Midtown Alliance
Population
 (2011 est.)(Greater Midtown)
  Total41,681
  Density11,000/sq mi (4,200/km2)
  Midtown Core
12,916
 Source: Midtown Alliance
Daytime workforce
  Midtown Core43,347
  Greater Midtown81,418
Student population (college/university)
  Midtown Core43,347
  Greater Midtown81,418
ZIP Code
30308, 30309
Website Midtown Alliance
Midtown at night, viewed from Piedmont Park Midtown at night.jpg
Midtown at night, viewed from Piedmont Park

Midtown Atlanta, or Midtown, is a high-density commercial and residential neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. The exact geographical extent of the area is ill-defined due to differing definitions used by the city, residents, and local business groups. However, the commercial core of the area is anchored by a series of high-rise office buildings, condominiums, hotels, and high-end retail along Peachtree Street between North Avenue and 17th Street. [1] Midtown, situated between Downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north, is the second-largest business district in Metro Atlanta. In 2011, Midtown had a resident population of 41,681 and a business population of 81,418. [2]

Contents

Midtown has the highest density of art and cultural institutions in the Southeast, [3] notably including the Fox Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, the High Museum of Art, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Museum of Design Atlanta. Midtown attracts over six million visitors annually, [4] mostly in connection with large annual events such as the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Atlanta Pride, Music Midtown, and Georgia Tech athletic games [5] . Since the 1990s, Midtown has also been a primary area for high-density development due to the area's mass transit options, urban street grid, and desirability. [4]

Geography and nomenclature

The definition and meaning of "Midtown" has varied over time, expanding from an original concept of a small neighborhood midway between Downtown and Buckhead. Boundary definitions vary by the source. In many cases, Midtown is a quasi-legal entity for zoning, law enforcement, and tax purposes. It is defined by the City of Atlanta to include the business district along Peachtree Street as well as Historic Midtown, the residential area east of Piedmont Avenue and to the south of Piedmont Park. The Midtown Alliance defines a larger, "Greater Midtown" area of approximately four square miles. This includes the area within the city's definition, but splitting it into the sub-areas Midtown Core and Midtown Garden District, i.e. Historic Midtown. It also includes the neighborhoods of Ansley Park, Sherwood Forest, Atlantic Station, Home Park, and Loring Heights. [6] [7]

The area has gone by other names in the past. An 1897 source refers to the area as North Atlanta, which would later be the name of today's city of Brookhaven. The 1897 "North Atlanta" encompassed (roughly) most of today's Midtown, Georgia Tech, and English Avenue. [8] [9] [10] Sources from the 1950s and early 1960s refer to the area as "Uptown Atlanta," a moniker which would later be applied instead to Buckhead following its annexation. [11] [12]

History

Map of part of Midtown Atlanta, 1895 Midtown Atlanta 1895.jpeg
Map of part of Midtown Atlanta, 1895

The southern half of Midtown between 8th Street and North Ave was originally purchased by Richard Peters in 1848 to use the pine forest there for fuel for his downtown flour mill. Over the next 40 years, Peters slowly subdivided sections of these land lots off for a gridded residential area and built his own home there on Peachtree at 4th Street. His son, Edward, built his home on the block bounded by North Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, Ponce de Leon Avenue, and Myrtle Street. The home, now called Ivy Hall, was restored by the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2008 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [13]

After the Civil War, Peachtree between what is now 8th and 12th streets was still about a mile beyond the city limits, which ended at Pine Street. [14] After the American Civil War a shantytown named Tight Squeeze developed at Peachtree at what is now 10th Street. It was infamous for vagrancy, desperation, robberies of merchants transiting the settlement. [15] [16] As Atlanta grew ever further outwards from its historic center, mansions were constructed along Peachtree Street and the area around 10th was known as Blooming Hill. Cross streets were built and residential development began around 1880. Piedmont Park was established with the Piedmont Exposition of 1887, followed by the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, lending the area new prominence. Electric streetcar lines extended along Piedmont Avenue by 1895 and along Peachtree Street (to Brookwood) by 1900. [17] In 1904, development on Ansley Park began. [17] By the 1920s, Tenth and Peachtree had become the nexus of a significant shopping district for the surrounding neighborhood. [18] The 1910 Encyclopædia Britannica listed Peachtree Street in Midtown as one of the finest residential areas of the city, along with Ponce de Leon Circle (now Ponce de Leon Avenue), Washington Street, and Inman Park.

The Downtown Connector freeway opened in the 1950s, and the blocks between Williams Street and Techwood Drive were demolished to make way for it. In 1959 Lenox Square and in 1964, Ansley Mall opened, and the Tenth Street shopping district went into decline. By the late 1960s, Peachtree Street between Eighth and Fourteenth Streets had become a center of hippie culture known as The Strip [19] [17] [20]

Large-scale commercial development began with Colony Square, the first mixed-use development in the Southeast, which was built between 1969 and 1973. The MARTA subway line opened in 1981. In the 1980s, many older properties were demolished, some remaining vacant for decades. High-density commercial and residential development took root in the north–south corridor along Peachtree and West Peachtree. The BellSouth Center (1982), now the AT&T Midtown Center, was long the landmark skyscraper in the area. However, commercial development escalated after 1987, when One Atlantic Center was completed.

Bungalows in the Midtown Historic District Corner of Glendale Terrace and 8th street, Atlanta, GA.jpg
Bungalows in the Midtown Historic District

The 2000s decade saw the construction of numerous high-rise condo buildings in Midtown, such as the Spire, Viewpoint, and 1010 Midtown. In 2006, then-Mayor Shirley Franklin set in motion a plan to make the 14-block stretch of Peachtree Street a street-level shopping destination. [21] [22] The 2004 opening of the Seventeenth Street Bridge over the Downtown Connector reconnected Midtown with the west side of the city and to the Atlantic Station mixed-use development, which was built on the former site of the Atlantic Steel company.

The Midtown Alliance, a group of volunteers, employees, and business and community members, was formed in 1978 in order to work towards improving the overall quality of life in Midtown and transform it into an ideal place for people to actively live, work, and play. Activities of the Alliance include improving the neighborhood safety, developing area arts and education programs, and building community leaders. The master plan from the Alliance, called Blueprint Midtown, is credited with fueling the economic resurgence that has helped the once downtrodden Midtown area transform over the past number of years into a popular neighborhood. [23]

In a 2011 Creative Loafing article claimed that: [24]

No part of the city has evolved more dramatically over the past two decades ... Impersonal office buildings, imposing parking decks and cold asphalt arteries have given way to high-rise living and an explosion of street life ... Where once there was a wasteland, now there are great restaurants, groceries, specialty shops, townhouses, lofts and ... people.

Architecture and historic districts

The Fox Theatre, a cultural icon of Atlanta Fox Theatre Atlanta.jpg
The Fox Theatre, a cultural icon of Atlanta

In the early 1980s, Midtown Atlanta was a blighted area mainly consisting of parking lots. By 1987, One Atlantic Center was built on the corner of West Peachtree Street and 14th Street, which kick-started the redevelopment of the area. Some contemporary buildings of note are:

[25] [26]

In the area surrounding Peachtree Street, very little of the original architecture was preserved. Some of the notable exceptions listed on the National Register of Historic Places include the Margaret Mitchell House, Rhodes Hall, Edward C. Peters House, and the Academy of Medicine.

Historic districts include the Fox Theatre Historic District and Historic Midtown; both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Fox Theatre Historic District comprises the Fox Theatre (Oliver Vinour et al., 1929), William Lee Stoddart's Georgian Terrace Hotel (1911), Stoddart's Italianate Ponce de Leon Apartments (1913), and the Cox-Carlton Hotel (1925). Historic Midtown, which includes most of Midtown east of Piedmont Avenue, is noted for its bungalows and Queen Anne style houses.

Parks and recreation

Bridge over Lake Clara Meer in Midtown's Piedmont Park Bridge over lake clara meer.JPG
Bridge over Lake Clara Meer in Midtown's Piedmont Park

Midtown's focal point is the expansive greenspace of Piedmont Park, which underwent a major expansion in 2011. The park is surrounded by the Midtown business district to its west, Ansley Park to its northwest, the BeltLine, Morningside, and Virginia Highland to its east, and the Midtown Historic District to its south. The Atlanta Botanical Garden adjoins the Park.

The BeltLine is a 22-mile-long (35 km) trail circling the older neighborhoods of central Atlanta which will be developed in stages. The BeltLine Eastside Trail connects Piedmont Park (at the intersection of 10th and Monroe) to the Inman Park MARTA station at DeKalb Avenue. [27] The "Art on the BeltLine" project has resulted in the installation of several contemporary art pieces on the trail.

Economy

People dancing to Paul van Dyk in one of Midtown's clubs 2008-03-13 Rave crowd.jpg
People dancing to Paul van Dyk in one of Midtown's clubs

Midtown Atlanta is a commercial district in its own right, containing 22 million square feet (2,000,000 m2) of office space, [4] with 8.2 million square feet (760,000 m2) of office space added to the area since 1997, with up to 3.8 million square feet (350,000 m2) more planned. [28] Furthermore, Midtown is home to many corporate headquarters, such as Equifax, [29] EarthLink, [30] Invesco, [31] and The Coca-Cola Company, [32] as well as other corporations with a sizeable presence such as Norfolk Southern, Wells Fargo, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, [33] and AT&T Inc. [34] Carter's, Inc. had its headquarters in Midtown but moved to Buckhead in 2013. [35] Regional offices for companies such as Google, Arcapita, and Jason's Deli are located in Midtown. [36] [37] [38] Major law firms such as King & Spalding [39] and Kilpatrick & Stockton [40] are also located in Midtown. In April 2019, the largest Whole Foods Market in the southeastern United States opened in Midtown. [41]

Midtown is also home to a share of Atlanta's diplomatic missions. The Consulate-General of Canada is located in 100 Colony Square Building, [42] as is the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency. [43] The Consulate-General of Switzerland in Atlanta is located in the Two Midtown Plaza building. [44] The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, representing the Republic of China, is located in the Atlantic Center Plaza. [45] The Consulate-General of Israel to the Southeast is also located in Midtown. [46] From 1995 to 2002, the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta was in Colony Square before moving to Buckhead. [47] [48]

Retail

Immediately adjacent to Midtown on the southeast side along the BeltLine are the large Ponce City Market lifestyle center in the former Sears building, Midtown Promenade power center with Home Depot and other big box stores, and Midtown Place community shopping center with a Trader Joe's and cinema multiplex. Atlantic Station a large regional mall and lifestyle center, and the community-size Ansley Mall are adjacent to Midtown's north end. Some retail shops are located along Peachtree Street but the area has not been a major shopping destination since the 1960s and a boulevard of upscale shops envisioned in 2006 never came to establish itself. [19] [21]

Arts and culture

The interior of the High Wandering around the High.jpg
The interior of the High

Midtown is known by many residents as Atlanta's "Heart of the Arts". It is the home of the Ferst Center for Arts, Fox Theatre, the Woodruff Arts Center, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Richard Meier- and Renzo Piano-designed High Museum of Art, as well as the Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Center for Puppetry Arts, and other arts and entertainment venues. Recently, the Woodruff Arts Center and its campus were expanded. Future additions will include a new Atlanta Symphony Center. The High has collaborated with major art museums to house temporary collections of masterpieces, most notably the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Across the street from the High is Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), the only museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to the study and celebration of all things design. Midtown is also the home of the Atlanta campus of Savannah College of Art and Design, which is located in historic buildings throughout the district.

MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta) is located on Peachtree Street Museum oF Design Atlanta.jpg
MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta) is located on Peachtree Street

Midtown's Piedmont Park is a popular venue for cultural festivals in Atlanta. Every spring, when the native dogwoods are in bloom in Piedmont Park, is the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, an arts and crafts fair. Piedmont Park is also the finish line of the Peachtree Road Race, held annually on Independence Day. As ground-zero for Atlanta arts community, Midtown is home of the annual Atlanta Arts Festival, which brings artists from across the country to Piedmont Park. Piedmont Park is also the home of the Southeast's largest multicultural festival, Festival Peachtree Latino, which celebrates Hispanic-American culture with arts and crafts, family activities, sporting events, a parade, dance demonstrations, ethnic foods, and a live music stage featuring international performers from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. Midtown is also the home of Atlanta's major music festival, Music Midtown, which was revived in 2011 after a five-year hiatus. At the corner of 8th Street and Spring Street, near the Midtown MARTA station, Midtown also hosts the Peachtree Music Festival, a one-day, two-stage music festival blending indie rock bands with electronic DJs. In the fall, the Atlanta Pride festival attracts the LGBT local and regional community while the week-long Out on Film gay film festival highlights films by, for, and about the LGBT community. [49]

Education

Midtown's Technology Square Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.jpg
Midtown's Technology Square

Residents are zoned to schools in the Atlanta Public Schools.

In addition, the campuses of Georgia Institute of Technology, John Marshall Law School, and the Atlanta division of the Savannah College of Art and Design are located in Midtown.

Transportation

Midtown Atlanta is served by Atlanta's rail rapid transit system, MARTA, at the North Avenue, Midtown, and Arts Center MARTA Stations. MARTA operates significant bus service in the district, as well. [50] There is also a free shuttle between the Arts Center MARTA Station and Atlantic Station, as well as a free-to-the-public daytime shuttle between the Midtown MARTA station and Georgia Tech called the "Tech Trolley". [51]

Midtown Ecodistrict

Ecodistricts are being implemented in leading cities around the world and Midtown has just completed a process to create Atlanta's first ecodistrict.

The Midtown Ecodistrict was created in 2012 as a platform for the community to collaborate on initiatives that results in improved environmental and economic performance. The program focuses on measurement on sustainability methods throughout the company. Green operational practices in the areas of energy, water, transportation and waste were implemented in an effort to make Midtown one of the most livable, vibrant and sustainable districts in the country.

In 2014, Midtown Alliance (who created the ecodistrict) decided to highlight business and buildings in Midtown that have made a significant commitment to green practices. This district is heavily urbanized (buildings, shops, skyscraper and hotels). Midtown also serves cyclists and pedestrians with 5 miles of bike lanes. The restaurants established in Midtown are recycling and composting at least 95% . 50 recycling cans have been installed.

See also

Related Research Articles

Peachtree Street

Peachtree Street is one of several major streets running through the city of Atlanta. Beginning at Five Points in downtown Atlanta, it runs North through Midtown; a few blocks after entering into Buckhead, the name changes to Peachtree Road at Deering Road. Much of the city's historic and noteworthy architecture is located along the street, and it is often used for annual parades,, as well as one-time parades celebrating events such as the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola in 1986 and the Atlanta Braves' 1995 World Series victory.

Buckhead District of Atlanta

Buckhead is the uptown commercial and residential district of the city of Atlanta, Georgia, comprising approximately the northernmost fifth of the city. Buckhead is the third largest business district within the Atlanta city limits, behind Downtown and Midtown, a major commercial and financial center of the Southeast.

Buckhead Village

Buckhead Village is a neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, one of 42 neighborhoods in the larger Buckhead district and the community's historic business section. The Village as defined by the city as the area between Piedmont Road, Peachtree Road, and Pharr Road.

Through much of the 19th century, Pace's Ferry was an important ferry across the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta. Started in the early 1830s near Peachtree Creek, it was run by Hardy Pace, one of the city's founders. It was an important transportation link to northwestern Georgia, especially prior to the construction of the State Road to Chattanooga.

From its incorporation in 1847, the municipal boundaries Atlanta, Georgia were extended repeatedly from a small area around its railroad station to today's city covering 131.7 square miles (341 km2).

Downtown Atlanta District

Downtown Atlanta is the central business district of Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The largest of the city's three commercial districts, it is the location of many corporate or regional headquarters; city, county, state and federal government facilities; Georgia State University; sporting venues; and most of Atlanta's tourist attractions. It measures approximately four square miles, and had 26,700 residents as of 2010. Similar to other central business districts in the United States, it has recently undergone a transformation that included the construction of new condos and lofts, renovation of historic buildings, and arrival of new residents and businesses.

Arts Center station (MARTA) MARTA rail station

Arts Center station is a train station in Atlanta, Georgia, serving the Red and Gold lines of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail system. It is the northernmost of three MARTA stations that serve Midtown Atlanta, the others being Midtown and North Avenue.

Midtown station (MARTA) MARTA rail station

Midtown is an underground metro station in Atlanta, Georgia, serving the Red and Gold lines of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail system. Located in Midtown Atlanta, 5,644 daily fares were collected at the gates as of 2013. One Zipcar vehicle is parked at the station.

Lindbergh Center station MARTA rail station

Lindbergh Center station is an at-grade train station in Atlanta, Georgia, serving the Red and Gold lines of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail system. It serves the Lindbergh/Morosgo neighborhood in southern Buckhead, and is a part-time terminus of the Red Line and the last transfer point for the Red and Gold (Doraville) rail lines. It is the only station on this route served by the Red and Gold lines at all times. This is the second busiest station in the MARTA system, handling an average of 23,400 boardings per weekday. It is important to the MARTA system for a number of reasons. It is adjacent to the MARTA headquarters building, located just north of the Armour Yard Rail Services Facility, which allows trains to come into service at a more central location than was previously possible, and at an important junction point for the future Belt Line.

Lenox station (MARTA) MARTA rail station

Lenox is an underground metro station in Atlanta, Georgia, serving the Gold Line of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Located in the Buckhead district, it provides access to Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, which are located on Peachtree Street across the street from one another, as well as the nearby neighborhoods of Lenox Park and Pine Hills. It also provides connecting bus service to Peachtree Industrial business district, Underground Atlanta, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Woodruff Arts Center, Midtown business district, Piedmont Hospital, and the Atlanta Amtrak station.

Brookwood Hills United States historic place

Brookwood Hills is a historic neighborhood located in intown Atlanta, Georgia, United States, north of Midtown and south-southwest of Buckhead. Home to about 1000 people, it was founded in the early 1920s by Benjamin Franklin Burdett and his son, Arthur. The site of the neighborhood is located where some of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War took place during the Atlanta Campaign.

SoNo, Atlanta

SoNo is a sub-district of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, just south of Midtown. The area was defined and named by T. Brian Glass while working on a rezoning committee with Central Atlanta Progress in 2005 in order to better establish an identity for the area and give it a hipper image. SoNo refers to the area of Downtown bounded by North Avenue on the north, Central Park Place on the east and the Downtown Connector (Interstate-75/85) on the west and south.

Ponce de Leon Avenue

Ponce de Leon Avenue, often simply called Ponce, provides a link between Atlanta, Decatur, Clarkston, and Stone Mountain, Georgia. It was named for Ponce de Leon Springs, in turn from explorer Juan Ponce de León, but is not pronounced as in Spanish. Several grand and historic buildings are located on the avenue.

Midtown Mile

The Midtown Mile is a section of Peachtree Street NE in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia, between North Avenue NE and 15th Street NE. Located across the Downtown Connector from Downtown Atlanta, the Midtown Mile is one of the major thoroughfares of central Atlanta in terms of retail and rapid residential development.

West Midtown, also known as Westside, is a colloquial area, comprising many historical neighborhoods located in Atlanta, Georgia. Once largely industrial, West Midtown is now the location of urban lofts, art galleries, live music venues, retail and restaurants.

Streetcars in Atlanta

Streetcars originally operated in Atlanta downtown and into the surrounding areas from 1871 until the final line's closure in 1949.

Peachtree Hills is a neighborhood within the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia. It primarily contains residential buildings, however, commercial buildings are scattered throughout the neighborhood. Peachtree Battle Shopping Center is located within the borders of Peachtree Hills.

Washington–Rawson

Washington–Rawson was a neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. It included what is now Georgia State Stadium and the large parking lot to its north, until 1997 the site of Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, as well as the I-20-Downtown Connector interchange. Washington and Rawson streets intersected where the interchange is today. To the northwest was Downtown Atlanta, to the west Mechanicsville, to the east Summerhill, and to the south Washington Heights, now called Peoplestown.

Piedmont Avenue (Atlanta)

Piedmont Avenue is a major thoroughfare in Atlanta, beginning in Downtown Atlanta and ending at its continuation as Piedmont Road just before crossing under Interstate 85. Along the way, Piedmont Avenue passes through Midtown Atlanta where several historic properties are located on the street.

Tenth Street is a street in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia.

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