ATLANTA is the capital of and the most populous city in the U.S.
state of Georgia , with an estimated 2016 population of 472,522.
Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta
metropolitan area , home to 5,710,795 people and the ninth-largest
metropolitan area in the United States.
Atlanta is the county seat of
Fulton County , and a small portion of the city extends eastward into
DeKalb County .
Atlanta was founded at the intersection of two railroad
lines, and the city rose from the ashes of the
American Civil War to
become a national center of commerce. In the decades following the
Civil Rights Movement , the city earned a reputation as "too busy to
hate" for the relatively progressive views of its citizens and leaders
compared to other cities in the
Deep South .
international prominence, and it became the primary transportation hub
of the Southeastern
United States , via highway, railroad, and air ,
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the
world\'s busiest airport since 1998.
Atlanta rated a "beta(+) " world city that exerts a medium impact
upon commerce, finance, research, technology, education, media, art,
and entertainment. It ranks 40th among world cities and 8th in the
nation with a gross domestic product of $270 billion. Atlanta's
economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors that include
logistics, professional and business services, media operations, and
Atlanta has topographic features that include
rolling hills and dense tree coverage . Revitalization of Atlanta's
neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, has
intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics,
politics, and culture.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Native American settlements
Western and Atlantic Railroad
Western and Atlantic Railroad
* 1.3 Civil War
* 1.4 Rebuilding the city
* 1.5 Racial tensions
* 1.6 Metropolitan area\'s growth
Civil Rights Movement
1996 Summer Olympic Games
1996 Summer Olympic Games
* 1.9 Recent history
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Cityscape
* 2.2 Climate
* 4 Economy
* 5 Culture
* 5.1 Arts and theater
* 5.2 Music
* 5.3 Tourism
* 6 Sports
* 7 Parks and recreation
* 8 Government and politics
* 9 Education
* 10 Media
* 11 Transportation
* 12 Tree canopy
* 13 Sister cities
* 14 See also
* 15 Notes and references
* 15.1 Notes
* 15.2 References
* 16 Further reading
* 17 External links
History of Atlanta and
Timeline of Atlanta
NATIVE AMERICAN SETTLEMENTS
Marietta Street, 1864
Prior to the arrival of European settlers in north Georgia, Creek
Indians inhabited the area.
Standing Peachtree , a Creek village
Peachtree Creek flows into the
Chattahoochee River , was
the closest Indian settlement to what is now Atlanta. As part of the
systematic removal of Native Americans from northern Georgia from 1802
to 1825, the Creek ceded the area in 1821, and white settlers
arrived the following year.
WESTERN AND ATLANTIC RAILROAD
In 1836, the
Georgia General Assembly voted to build the Western and
Atlantic Railroad in order to provide a link between the port of
Savannah and the Midwest . The initial route was to run southward
from Chattanooga to a terminus east of the Chattahoochee River, which
would then be linked to Savannah. After engineers surveyed various
possible locations for the terminus, the "zero milepost" was driven
into the ground in what is now Five Points . A year later, the area
around the milepost had developed into a settlement, first known as
"Terminus," and later as "Thrasherville" after a local merchant who
built homes and a general store in the area. By 1842, the town had
six buildings and 30 residents and was renamed "Marthasville " to
honor the Governor\'s daughter. Later,
J. Edgar Thomson , Chief
Engineer of the
Georgia Railroad , suggested the town be renamed
"Atlantica -Pacifica ," which was shortened to "Atlanta". The
residents approved, and the town was incorporated as
December 29, 1847.
By 1860, Atlanta's population had grown to 9,554. During the
American Civil War , the nexus of multiple railroads in
the city a hub for the distribution of military supplies. In 1864, the
Union Army moved southward following the capture of Chattanooga and
began its invasion of north Georgia . The region surrounding Atlanta
was the location of several major army battles , culminating with the
Atlanta and a four-month-long siege of the city by the Union
Army under the command of General
William Tecumseh Sherman . On
September 1, 1864, Confederate General
John Bell Hood made the
decision to retreat from Atlanta, and he ordered the destruction of
all public buildings and possible assets that could be of use to the
Union Army. On the next day,
James Calhoun surrendered Atlanta
to the Union Army, and on September 7, Sherman ordered the city's
civilian population to evacuate. On November 11, 1864, Sherman
prepared for the Union Army's March to the Sea by ordering
be burned to the ground, sparing only the city's churches and
REBUILDING THE CITY
After the Civil War ended in 1865,
Atlanta was gradually rebuilt. Due
to the city's superior rail transportation network, the state capital
was moved from Milledgeville to
Atlanta in 1868. In the 1880 Census,
Atlanta surpassed Savannah as Georgia's largest city. Beginning in the
Henry W. Grady , the editor of the _
Atlanta Constitution _
Atlanta to potential investors as a city of the
New South " that would be based upon a modern economy and less
reliant on agriculture. By 1885, the founding of the Georgia School of
Technology (now Georgia Tech ) and the city\'s black colleges had
Atlanta as a center for higher education. In 1895, Atlanta
Cotton States and International Exposition , which
attracted nearly 800,000 attendees and successfully promoted the New
South's development to the world.
During the first decades of the 20th century,
Atlanta experienced a
period of unprecedented growth. In three decades' time, Atlanta's
population tripled as the city limits expanded to include nearby
streetcar suburbs. The city's skyline emerged with the construction of
the Equitable , Flatiron , Empire , and Candler buildings; and Sweet
Auburn emerged as a center of black commerce. The period was also
marked by strife and tragedy. Increased racial tensions led to the
Atlanta Race Riot
Atlanta Race Riot of 1906, which left at least 27 people dead and over
70 injured. In 1915,
Leo Frank , a Jewish-American factory
superintendent, convicted of murder, was hanged in Marietta by a lynch
mob , drawing attention to antisemitism in the
United States . On May
21, 1917, the Great
Atlanta Fire destroyed 1,938 buildings in what is
Old Fourth Ward , resulting in one fatality and the
displacement of 10,000 people. In 1907, Peachtree Street, the
main street of Atlanta, was busy with streetcars and automobiles.
On December 15, 1939,
Atlanta hosted the premiere of _Gone with the
Wind _, the epic film based on the best-selling novel by Atlanta's
Margaret Mitchell . The gala event at Loew\'s Grand Theatre was
attended by the film's legendary producer,
David O. Selznick , and the
Clark Gable ,
Vivien Leigh , and
Olivia de Havilland ,
but Oscar winner
Hattie McDaniel , an
African American actress, was
barred from the event due to racial segregation laws and policies.
METROPOLITAN AREA\'S GROWTH
Atlanta played a vital role in the Allied effort during World War II
due to the city's war-related manufacturing companies, railroad
network and military bases, leading to rapid population and economic
growth. In the 1950s, the city's newly constructed highway system
allowed middle class Atlantans the ability to relocate to the suburbs.
As a result, the city began to make up an ever-smaller proportion of
the metropolitan area's population.
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
During the 1960s,
Atlanta was a major organizing center of the Civil
Rights Movement , with Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. , Ralph David
Abernathy , and students from Atlanta's historically black colleges
and universities playing major roles in the movement's leadership.
While minimal compared to other cities,
Atlanta was not free of racial
strife. In 1961, the city attempted to thwart blockbusting by
erecting road barriers in
Cascade Heights , countering the efforts of
civic and business leaders to foster
Atlanta as the "city too busy to
hate". Desegregation of the public sphere came in stages, with
public transportation desegregated by 1959, the restaurant at Rich\'s
department store by 1961, movie theaters by 1963, and public schools
by 1973. The Olympic flag waves at the 1996 games
In 1960, whites comprised 61.7% of the city's population. By 1970,
African Americans were a majority of the city's population and
exercised new-found political influence by electing Atlanta's first
Maynard Jackson , in 1973. Under
Mayor Jackson's tenure,
Atlanta's airport was modernized, solidifying the city's role as a
transportation center. The opening of the Georgia World Congress
Center in 1976 heralded Atlanta's rise as a convention city.
Construction of the city's subway system began in 1975, with rail
service commencing in 1979. Despite these improvements,
over 100,000 residents between 1970 and 1990, over 20% of its
1996 SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
Atlanta was selected as the site for the
1996 Summer Olympic Games
1996 Summer Olympic Games .
Following the announcement , the city government undertook several
major construction projects to improve Atlanta's parks, sporting
venues, and transportation infrastructure. While the games themselves
were marred by numerous organizational inefficiencies as well as the
Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park bombing , the spectacle was a watershed event
in Atlanta's history that initiated a fundamental transformation of
the city in the decade that followed.
During the 2000s,
Atlanta underwent a profound physical, cultural ,
and demographic transformation. Suburbanization, a booming economy,
and new migrants decreased the city's black percentage from a high of
67% in 1990 to 54% in 2010. From 2000 to 2010,
Atlanta gained 22,763
white residents, 5,142 Asian residents, and 3,095 Hispanic residents,
while the city's black population decreased by 31,678. Much of the
city's demographic change during the decade was driven by young,
college-educated professionals: from 2000 to 2009, the three-mile
Downtown Atlanta gained 9,722 residents aged 25 to
34 holding at least a four-year degree, an increase of 61%. Between
the mid-1990s and 2010, stimulated by funding from the HOPE VI
Atlanta demolished nearly all of its public housing, a total
of 17,000 units and about 10% of all housing units in the city. In
2005, the $2.8 billion
BeltLine project was adopted, with the stated
goals of converting a disused 22-mile freight railroad loop that
surrounds the central city into an art-filled multi-use trail and
increasing the city's park space by 40%. Atlanta's cultural offerings
expanded during the 2000s: the
High Museum of Art
High Museum of Art doubled in size; the
Alliance Theatre won a
Tony Award ; and art galleries were established
on the once-industrial Westside .
Geography of Atlanta
Atlanta encompasses 134.0 square miles (347.1 km2), of which 133.2
square miles (344.9 km2) is land and 0.85 square miles (2.2 km2) is
water. The city is situated among the foothills of the Appalachian
Mountains , and at 1,050 feet (320 m) above mean sea level, Atlanta
has one of the highest elevations among major cities east of the
Atlanta straddles the
Eastern Continental Divide
Eastern Continental Divide ,
such that rainwater that falls on the south and east side of the
divide flows into the Atlantic Ocean, while rainwater on the north and
west side of the divide flows into the
Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico .
atop a ridge south of the
Chattahoochee River , which is part of the
ACF River Basin . Located at the far northwestern edge of the city,
much of the river's natural habitat is preserved, in part by the
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area .
Architecture of Atlanta and
Neighborhoods of Atlanta
List of tallest buildings in Atlanta The Downtown
skyline The Midtown skyline The
Atlanta was burned during the Civil War, depleting the city
of a large stock of its historic architecture. Yet architecturally,
the city had never been particularly "southern"—because Atlanta
originated as a railroad town, rather than a patrician southern
seaport like Savannah or Charleston , many of the city's landmarks
could have easily been erected in the Northeast or Midwest. The
skyline of Midtown (viewed from
Piedmont Park ) emerged with the
construction of modernist
Colony Square in 1972.
During the Cold War era,
Atlanta embraced global modernist trends,
especially regarding commercial and institutional architecture.
Examples of modernist architecture include the 1,196,240sq.ft Westin
Peachtree Plaza (1976),
Georgia-Pacific Tower (1982), the State of
Georgia Building (1966), and the
Atlanta Marriott Marquis (1985). In
the latter half of the 1980s,
Atlanta became one of the early adopters
of postmodern designs that reintroduced classical elements to the
cityscape. Many of Atlanta's tallest skyscrapers were built in the
late 1980s and early 1990s, with most displaying tapering spires or
otherwise ornamented crowns, such as the 1,187,676 sq.ft One Atlantic
191 Peachtree Tower (1991), and the Four Seasons Hotel
Atlanta (1992). Also completed during the era is Atlanta's tallest
skyscraper, the Bank of America Plaza (1992), which, at 1,023 feet
(312 m), is the 61st-tallest building in the world and the 9th-tallest
building in the United States. The Bank of America Plaza is the
tallest building outside of New York
Chicago , and was the
last building built in the
United States to be in the top 10 tallest
buildings in the world until
One World Trade Center was completed
externally in May 2013. The city's embrace of modern architecture
translated into an ambivalent approach toward historic preservation,
leading to the destruction of notable architectural landmarks,
including the Equitable Building (1892–1971), Terminal Station
(1905–1972), and the Carnegie Library (1902–1977). The Fox Theatre
(1929)—Atlanta's cultural icon—would have met the same fate had it
not been for a grassroots effort to save it in the mid-1970s.
Atlanta is divided into 242 officially defined neighborhoods . The
city contains three major high-rise districts, which form a
north-south axis along Peachtree : Downtown , Midtown , and
Surrounding these high-density districts are leafy, low-density
neighborhoods, most of which are dominated by single-family homes.
Downtown Atlanta contains the most office space in the metro area,
much of it occupied by government entities. Downtown is home to the
city's sporting venues and many of its tourist attractions. Midtown
Atlanta is the city's second-largest business district, containing the
offices of many of the region's law firms. Midtown is known for its
art institutions, cultural attractions, institutions of higher
education, and dense form.
Buckhead , the city's uptown district, is
eight miles (13 km) north of Downtown and the city's third-largest
business district. The district is marked by an urbanized core along
Peachtree Road , surrounded by suburban single-family neighborhoods
situated among dense forests and rolling hills. Craftsman
Beath-Dickey House (1890) in Inman
Park neighborhood, 2011
Surrounding Atlanta's three high-rise districts are the city's low-
and medium-density neighborhoods , where the craftsman bungalow
single-family home is dominant. The eastside is marked by historic
streetcar suburbs built from the 1890s-1930s as havens for the upper
middle class. These neighborhoods, many of which contain their own
villages encircled by shaded, architecturally-distinct residential
streets, include the Victorian
Inman Park , Bohemian
East Atlanta ,
Old Fourth Ward . On the westside and along the
BeltLine on the eastside , former warehouses and factories have been
converted into housing, retail space, and art galleries, transforming
the once-industrial areas such as
West Midtown into model
neighborhoods for smart growth , historic rehabilitation, and infill
construction. In southwest Atlanta, neighborhoods closer to downtown
originated as streetcar suburbs, including the historic West End ,
while those farther from downtown retain a postwar suburban layout,
Collier Heights and
Cascade Heights , home to much of the
African American population. Northwest Atlanta
contains the areas of the city to west of Marietta Boulevard and to
the north of
Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, including those
neighborhoods remote to downtown, such as Riverside, Bolton and
Whittier Mill, which is one of Atlanta's designated Landmark
Historical Neighborhoods. Vine City, though technically Northwest,
adjoins the city's Downtown area and has recently been the target of
community outreach programs and economic development initiatives.
Gentrification of the city's neighborhoods is one of the more
controversial and transformative forces shaping contemporary Atlanta.
The gentrification of
Atlanta has its origins in the 1970s, after many
of Atlanta's neighborhoods had undergone the urban decay that affected
other major American cities in the mid-20th century. When neighborhood
opposition successfully prevented two freeways from being built
through city's the east side in 1975, the area became the starting
point for Atlanta's gentrification . After
Atlanta was awarded the
Olympic games in 1990, gentrification expanded into other parts of the
city, stimulated by infrastructure improvements undertaken in
preparation for the games.
Gentrification was aided by the Atlanta
Housing Authority 's eradication of the city's public housing.
Piedmont Park in winter
Under the Köppen classification ,
Atlanta has a humid subtropical
climate (_Cfa_) with four distinct seasons and generous precipitation
year-round, typical for the inland South . Summers are hot and humid,
with temperatures somewhat moderated by the city's elevation. Winters
are cool but variable, with an average of 48 freezing days per year
and temperatures dropping to 0 °F (−17.8 °C) on rare occasions.
Warm air from the
Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico can bring spring-like highs while
strong Arctic air masses can push lows into the teens (≤ −7 °C).
July averages 80.2 °F (26.8 °C), with high temperatures reaching 90
°F (32 °C) on an average 44 days per year, though 100 °F (38 °C)
readings are not seen most years. January averages 43.5 °F (6.4 °C),
with temperatures in the suburbs slightly cooler due largely to the
urban heat island effect. Lows at or below freezing can be expected 40
nights annually, but extended stretches with daily high temperatures
below 40 °F (4 °C) are very rare, with a recent exception in January
2014 . Extremes range from −9 °F (−23 °C) on February 13, 1899
to 106 °F (41 °C) on June 30, 2012 . Dewpoints in the summer range
from 63.6 °F (18 °C) in June to 67.8 °F (20 °C) in July.
Typical of the southeastern U.S.,
Atlanta receives abundant rainfall
that is evenly distributed throughout the year, though spring and
early fall are markedly drier. The average annual rainfall is 50.2
inches (1,280 mm), while snowfall is typically light at around 2.1
inches (5.3 cm) per year. The heaviest single snowfall occurred on
January 23, 1940, with around 10 inches (25 cm) of snow. However, ice
storms usually cause more problems than snowfall does, the most severe
occurring on January 7, 1973. Tornadoes are rare in the city itself,
but the March 15, 2008 EF2 tornado damaged prominent structures in
CLIMATE DATA FOR ATLANTA (HARTSFIELD–JACKSON INT\'L), 1981–2010
NORMALS, EXTREMES 1878–PRESENT
RECORD HIGH °F (°C)
MEAN MAXIMUM °F (°C)
AVERAGE HIGH °F (°C)
DAILY MEAN °F (°C)
AVERAGE LOW °F (°C)
MEAN MINIMUM °F (°C)
RECORD LOW °F (°C)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION INCHES (MM)
AVERAGE SNOWFALL INCHES (CM)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 0.01 IN)
AVERAGE SNOWY DAYS (≥ 0.1 IN)
AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
PERCENT POSSIBLE SUNSHINE
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)
Atlanta See also:
Religion in Atlanta
U.S. Decennial Census
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
United States Census reported that
Atlanta had a population
of 420,003. The population density was 3,154 per square mile (1232/km2
). The racial makeup and population of
Atlanta was 54.0% Black or
African American, 38.4% White, 3.1% Asian and 0.2% Native American.
Those from some other race made up 2.2% of the city's population,
while those from two or more races made up 2.0%. Hispanics of any race
made up 5.2% of the city's population. The median income for a
household in the city was $45,171. The per capita income for the city
was $35,453. 22.6% percent of the population was living below the
poverty line .
Atlanta has one of the highest
LGBT populations per
capita, ranking third among major American cities, behind San
Francisco and slightly behind
Seattle , with 12.8% of the city's total
population identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. 7.3% of
Atlantans were born abroad (86th in the US). Map of racial
distribution in Atlanta, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:
WHITE, BLACK, ASIAN HISPANIC, or OTHER (yellow)
In the 2010 Census,
Atlanta was recorded as the nation's
fourth-largest majority-black city. It has long been known as a center
of African-American political power, education, and culture, often
called a black mecca . African-American residents of
followed whites to newer housing in the suburbs in the early 21st
century. From 2000 to 2010, the city's black population decreased by
31,678 people, shrinking from 61.4% of the city's population in 2000
to 54.0% in 2010.
At the same time, the white population of
Atlanta has increased.
Between 2000 and 2010, the proportion of whites in the city's
population grew faster than that of any other U.S. city. In that
decade, Atlanta's white population grew from 31% to 38% of the city's
population, an absolute increase of 22,753 people, more than triple
the increase that occurred between 1990 and 2000.
Out of the total population five years and older, 83.3% spoke only
English at home, while 8.8% spoke Spanish, 3.9% another Indo-European
language, and 2.8% an Asian language. Atlanta's dialect has
traditionally been a variation of
Southern American English . The
Chattahoochee River long formed a border between the Coastal Southern
and Southern Appalachian dialects. Because of the development of
corporate headquarters in the region, attracting migrants from other
areas of the country, by 2003, _
Atlanta _ magazine concluded that
Atlanta had become significantly "de-Southernized." A Southern accent
was considered a handicap in some circumstances. In general, Southern
accents are less prevalent among residents of the city and inner
suburbs and among younger people; they are more common in the outer
suburbs and among older people. At the same time, some residents of
the city express Southern variations of
African American Vernacular
Religion in Atlanta , while historically centered on Protestant
Christianity , now involves many faiths as a result of the city and
metro area's increasingly international population. Protestant
Christianity still maintains a strong presence in the city (63%),
but in recent decades the Catholic Church has increased in numbers and
influence because of new migrants in the region. Metro
has numerous ethnic or national Christian congregations, including
Korean and Indian churches. The larger non-Christian faiths are
Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. Overall, there are over 1,000 places of
worship within Atlanta.
Economy of Atlanta
With a GDP of $304 billion, the Metro
Atlanta economy is the
eighth-largest in the country and 17th-largest in the world .
Corporate operations play a major role in the economy, as the city
claims the country's third-largest concentration of Fortune 500
companies, and hosts the global headquarters of corporations such as
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company ,
The Home Depot ,
Delta Air Lines , AT as of
2014 , 45% of adults 25 or older in the city have at least 4-year
college degrees, compared to the national average of 28%. The
Coca-Cola world headquarters
Atlanta began as a railroad town and logistics has remained a major
component of the city's economy to this day.
Atlanta is an important
rail junction and contains major classification yards for Norfolk
Southern and CSX . Since its construction in the 1950s,
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has served as a key
engine of Atlanta's economic growth. Delta Air Lines, the city's
largest employer and the metro area's third-largest, operates the
world's largest airline hub at Hartsfield-Jackson and has helped make
it the world\'s busiest airport , both in terms of passenger traffic
and aircraft operations. Partly due to the airport,
become a hub for diplomatic missions; as of 2017 , the city contains
26 consulates general , the seventh-highest concentration of
diplomatic missions in the United States.
Media is also an important aspect of Atlanta's economy. The city is a
major cable television programming center.
Ted Turner established the
headquarters of both the
Cable News Network (CNN) and the Turner
Broadcasting System (TBS) in Atlanta.
Cox Enterprises , the country's
third-largest cable television service and the publisher of over a
dozen American newspapers, is headquartered in the city. The Weather
Channel is headquartered just outside
Cobb County .
Information technology—a business sector that includes publishing,
software development, entertainment and data processing—has garnered
a larger percentage of Atlanta's economic output. Indeed,
been nicknamed the
Silicon peach due to its burgeoning technology
sector. As of 2013 ,
Atlanta contains the fourth-largest concentration
of information technology jobs in the United States, numbering 85,000.
Atlanta ranks as the sixth fastest-growing city for information
technology jobs, with an employment growth of 4.8% in 2012 and a
three-year growth near 9%, or 16,000 jobs. Information technology
companies are drawn to Atlanta's lower costs and educated workforce.
Atlanta has become a center for film and television
production , largely due to the Georgia Entertainment Industry
Investment Act , which awards qualified productions a transferable
income tax credit of 20% of all in-state costs for film and television
investments of $500,000 or more. Film and television production
Atlanta include Turner Studios , Pinewood Studios
Tyler Perry Studios ,
Williams Street Productions,
EUE/Screen Gems soundstages. Film and television production
injected $6 billion into Georgia's economy in 2015, with Atlanta
garnering most of the projects.
Atlanta has gained recognition as a
center of production of horror and zombie-related productions, with
Atlanta _ magazine dubbing the city the "Zombie Capital of the
World". The CNN newsroom
Compared to other American cities, Atlanta's economy has been
disproportionately affected by the 2008 financial crisis and
subsequent recession, with the city's economy earning a ranking of 68
among 100 American cities in a September 2014 report due to an
elevated unemployment rate, declining real income levels, and a
depressed housing market. From 2010 to 2011,
Atlanta saw a 0.9%
contraction in employment and only a 0.4% rise in income. Though
unemployment had dropped to 7% by late 2014, this was still higher
than the national unemployment rate of 5.8% Atlanta's housing market
has struggled, with home prices falling by 2.1% in January 2012,
reaching levels not seen since 1996. Compared with a year earlier, the
average home price in
Atlanta fell 17.3% in February 2012, the largest
annual drop in the history of the index for any city. The collapse
in home prices has led some economists to deem
Atlanta the worst
housing market in the country. Nevertheless, in August 2013, Atlanta
appeared on _
Forbes _ magazine's list of the Best Places for Business
Museum of Design Atlanta
Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) Public Art on the
BeltLine — 2015
_Object of Wo(man)_ by William Massey.
Atlanta is a city located in the South that has a culture that is no
longer strictly Southern . This is due to a large population of
migrants from other parts of the U.S., in addition to many recent
immigrants to the U.S. who have made the metropolitan area their home,
Atlanta as the cultural and economic hub of an
increasingly multi-cultural metropolitan area. Thus, although
traditional Southern culture is part of Atlanta's cultural fabric, it
is mostly the backdrop to one of the nation's most cosmopolitan
cities. This unique cultural combination reveals itself in the arts
district of Midtown, the quirky neighborhoods on the city's eastside ,
and the multi-ethnic enclaves found along
Buford Highway .
ARTS AND THEATER
Arts in Atlanta
Atlanta is one of few
United States cities with permanent,
professional, resident companies in all major performing arts
disciplines: opera (
Atlanta Opera ), ballet (
Atlanta Ballet ),
orchestral music (
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra ), and theater (the
Alliance Theatre ).
Atlanta attracts many touring Broadway acts,
concerts, shows, and exhibitions catering to a variety of interests.
Atlanta's performing arts district is concentrated in Midtown Atlanta
Woodruff Arts Center
Woodruff Arts Center , which is home to the
Orchestra and the
Alliance Theatre . The city frequently hosts touring
Broadway acts, especially at The Fox Theatre , a historic landmark
that is among the highest-grossing theatres of its size.
As a national center for the arts,
Atlanta is home to significant
art museums and institutions. The renowned
High Museum of Art
High Museum of Art is
arguably the South's leading art museum and among the most-visited art
museums in the world. The
Museum of Design Atlanta
Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), a design
museum, is the only such museum in the Southeast. Contemporary art
museums include the
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Museum of
Contemporary Art of Georgia . Institutions of higher education
contribute to Atlanta's art scene, with the Savannah College of Art
Atlanta campus providing the city's arts community with a
steady stream of curators, and Emory University's Michael C. Carlos
Museum containing the largest collection of ancient art in the
The stage of the Tabernacle during a live music show Main
Music of Atlanta
Atlanta has played a major or contributing role in the development of
various genres of American music at different points in the city's
history. Beginning as early as the 1920s,
Atlanta emerged as a center
for country music , which was brought to the city by migrants from
Appalachia . During the countercultural 1960s ,
Atlanta hosted the
Atlanta International Pop Festival , with the 1969 festival taking
place more than a month before
Woodstock and featuring many of the
same bands. The city was also a center for
Southern rock during its
1970s heyday: the
Allman Brothers Band 's hit instrumental "Hot
\'Lanta " is an ode to the city, while
Lynyrd Skynyrd 's famous live
rendition of "
Free Bird " was recorded at the Fox Theatre in 1976,
with lead singer
Ronnie Van Zant directing the band to "play it pretty
for Atlanta". During the 1980s,
Atlanta had an active
Punk rock scene
that was centered on two of the city's music venues,
688 Club and the
Atlanta famously played host to the
Sex Pistols first
U.S. show, which was performed at the Great Southeastern Music Hall.
The 1990s saw the birth of
Atlanta hip hop , a subgenre that gained
relevance following the success of home-grown duo
OutKast ; however,
it was not until the 2000s that
Atlanta moved "from the margins to
becoming hip-hop's center of gravity, part of a larger shift in
hip-hop innovation to the South". Also in the 2000s,
recognized by the Brooklyn-based _Vice _ magazine for its indie rock
scene, which revolves around the various live music venues found on
the city's alternative eastside .
Tourism in Atlanta ,
Festivals in Atlanta , List of
Atlanta , and
Cuisine of Atlanta Martin Luther King,
Jr.'s childhood home The
World of Coca-Cola
As of 2010 ,
Atlanta is the seventh-most visited city in the United
States, with over 35 million visitors per year. Although the most
popular attraction among visitors to
Atlanta is the
Georgia Aquarium ,
the world's largest indoor aquarium, Atlanta's tourism industry is
mostly driven by the city's history museums and outdoor attractions.
Atlanta contains a notable amount of historical museums and sites,
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site , which
includes the preserved childhood home of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. ,
as well as his final resting place; the
Atlanta Cyclorama the World of
Coca-Cola , featuring the history of the world-famous soft drink brand
and its well-known advertising; the College Football Hall of Fame
which honors college football and its athletes; the National Center
for Civil and Human Rights , which explores the Civil Rights Movement
and its connection to contemporary human rights movements throughout
the world; the
Carter Center and Presidential Library, housing U.S.
Jimmy Carter 's papers and other material relating to the
Carter administration and the Carter family's life; and the Margaret
Mitchell House and Museum , where Mitchell wrote the best-selling
novel _Gone with the Wind _.
Atlanta contains various outdoor attractions. The
Garden , adjacent to Piedmont Park, is home to the 600-foot-long (180
m) Kendeda Canopy Walk , a skywalk that allows visitors to tour one of
the city's last remaining urban forests from 40-foot-high (12 m). The
Canopy Walk is considered the only canopy-level pathway of its kind in
the United States.
Zoo Atlanta , located in Grant Park , accommodates
over 1,300 animals representing more than 220 species. Home to the
nation's largest collections of gorillas and orangutans, the Zoo is
one of only four zoos in the U.S. to house giant pandas . Festivals
showcasing arts and crafts, film, and music, including the Atlanta
Dogwood Festival , the
Atlanta Film Festival , and
Music Midtown ,
respectively, are also popular with tourists. A meal at The
Tourists are drawn to the city's culinary scene, which comprises a
mix of urban establishments garnering national attention, ethnic
restaurants serving cuisine from every corner of the world, and
traditional eateries specializing in Southern dining. Since the turn
of the 21st century,
Atlanta has emerged as a sophisticated restaurant
town. Many restaurants opened in the city's gentrifying neighborhoods
have received praise at the national level, including Bocado,
Bacchanalia, and Miller Union in
West Midtown , Empire State South in
Midtown , and Two Urban Licks and Rathbun\'s on the east side . In
2011, the _New York Times_ characterized Empire State South and Miller
Union as reflecting "a new kind of sophisticated Southern sensibility
centered on the farm but experienced in the city." Visitors seeking
to sample international
Atlanta are directed to
Buford Highway , the
city's international corridor. There, the million-plus immigrants that
Atlanta home have established various authentic ethnic
restaurants representing virtually every nationality on the globe.
For traditional Southern fare, one of the city's most famous
The Varsity , a long-lived fast food chain and the
world's largest drive-in restaurant. Mary Mac\'s Tea Room and
Paschal\'s are more formal destinations for Southern food.
Sports in Atlanta
Atlanta is home to professional franchises for four major team
Atlanta Braves of
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball , the Atlanta
Hawks of the
National Basketball Association , the
Atlanta Falcons of
National Football League , and
Atlanta United FC of Major League
Soccer . The Braves, who moved to
Atlanta in 1966, were established as
Boston Red Stockings in 1871 and are the oldest continually
operating professional sports franchise in the United States. The
Braves won the
World Series in 1995, and had an unprecedented run of
14 straight divisional championships from 1991 to 2005. The Braves
will have a new home in 2017. Moving from
Turner Field to Suntrust
Park, which is located in the
Metropolitan area 10 miles (16
km) northwest of downtown
Atlanta in Cumberland/Galleria, Georgia.
Atlanta Falcons have played in
Atlanta since their inception in
1966. The Falcons have won the division title six times (1980, 1998,
2004, 2010, 2012, 2016) and the NFC championship twice in 1998 and
2016. However, they have been unsuccessful in both of their Super Bowl
trips so far, losing to the
Denver Broncos in
Super Bowl XXXIII in
1999 and to the
New England Patriots in
Super Bowl LI in 2017. The
Atlanta Hawks began in 1946 as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, playing in
Moline, Illinois . The team moved to
Atlanta in 1968, and they
currently play their games in
Philips Arena . The
Atlanta Dream is
the city's Women\'s
National Basketball Association franchise.
Atlanta has had its own professional ice hockey and soccer
National Hockey League (NHL) has had two Atlanta
Atlanta Flames began play in 1972 before moving to
Calgary in 1980, while the
Atlanta Thrashers began play in 1999 before
moving to Winnipeg in 2011. The
Atlanta Chiefs was the city's
professional soccer team from 1967 to 1972, and the team won a
national championship in 1968. In 1998 another professional soccer
team was formed, the
Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer
League . In April 2014,
Atlanta United FC, was formed as an expansion
team to begin play in 2017.
Atlanta has been the host city for various international,
professional and collegiate sporting events. Most famously, Atlanta
hosted the Centennial
1996 Summer Olympics .
Atlanta hosted Super Bowl
XXVIII in 1994 and
Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. In professional golf, The
Tour Championship , the final
PGA Tour event of the season, is played
East Lake Golf Club . In 2001 and 2011,
Atlanta hosted the
PGA Championship , one of the four major championships in men's
professional golf, at the
Atlanta Athletic Club . In professional ice
hockey, the city hosted the 56th NHL All-Star Game in 2008, three
years before the Thrashers moved. In 2011,
Atlanta hosted professional
wrestling 's annual WrestleMania . The city has hosted the NCAA Final
Four Men's Basketball Championship four times, most recently in 2013 .
In college football,
Atlanta hosts the
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game , the
SEC Championship Game , and the
Peach Bowl .
PARKS AND RECREATION
Parks in Atlanta
Mosaiculture at the Atlanta
Botanical Garden The
Chattahoochee River National Recreation
Area in northwestern
Atlanta's 343 parks, nature preserves, and gardens cover 3,622 acres
(14.66 km2), which amounts to only 5.6% of the city's total acreage,
compared to the national average of just over 10%. However, 64% of
Atlantans live within a 10-minute walk of a park, a percentage equal
to the national average. In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for
Public Land reported that among the park systems of the 50 most
populous U.S. cities, Atlanta's park system received a ranking of 31.
Piedmont Park , located in Midtown , is Atlanta's most iconic green
space. The park, which underwent a major renovation and expansion in
recent years, attracts visitors from across the region and hosts
cultural events throughout the year. Other notable city parks include
Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park , a legacy of the
1996 Summer Olympics that
forms the centerpiece of the city's tourist district;
Woodruff Park ,
which anchors the campus of
Georgia State University ; Grant Park ,
Zoo Atlanta ; and
Chastain Park , which houses an amphitheater
used for live music concerts. The
Chattahoochee River National
Recreation Area , located in the northwestern corner of the city,
preserves a 48 mi (77 km) stretch of the river for public recreation
Atlanta Botanical Garden , adjacent to Piedmont
Park, contains formal gardens, including a Japanese garden and a rose
garden, woodland areas, and a conservatory that includes indoor
exhibits of plants from tropical rainforests and deserts . The
BeltLine , a former rail corridor that forms a 22 mi (35 km) loop
around Atlanta's core, has been transformed into a series of parks ,
connected by a multi-use trail, increasing Atlanta's park space by
Atlanta offers resources and opportunities for amateur and
participatory sports and recreation.
Jogging is a popular local sport,
and the city hosts the
Peachtree Road Race
Peachtree Road Race , the world's largest 10 km
race, annually on Independence Day. The Georgia Marathon, which
begins and ends at
Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park , routes through the city's
historic east side neighborhoods. Golf and tennis are popular in
Atlanta, and the city contains six public golf courses and 182 tennis
courts. Facilities located along the
Chattahoochee River cater to
watersports enthusiasts, providing the opportunity for kayaking,
canoeing, fishing, boating, or tubing. The city's only skate park, a
15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) facility that offers bowls, curbs, and
smooth-rolling concrete mounds, is located at Historic Fourth Ward
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Government of Atlanta ,
List of mayors of Atlanta ,
Crime in Atlanta
Atlanta is governed by a mayor and the
City Council . The
city council consists of 15 representatives—one from each of the
city's 12 districts and three at-large positions. The mayor may veto a
bill passed by the council, but the council can override the veto with
a two-thirds majority. The mayor of
Kasim Reed , a
Democrat elected on a nonpartisan ballot whose first term in office
expired at the end of 2013. Reed was elected to a second term on
November 5, 2013. Every mayor elected since 1973 has been black. In
2001, Shirley Franklin became the first woman to be elected
Atlanta, and the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of a
major southern city.
Atlanta city politics suffered from a notorious
reputation for corruption during the 1990s administration of Mayor
Bill Campbell , who was convicted by a federal jury in 2006 on three
counts of tax evasion in connection with gambling winnings during
trips he took with city contractors.
As the state capital ,
Atlanta is the site of most of Georgia's state
Georgia State Capitol
Georgia State Capitol building, located downtown,
houses the offices of the governor , lieutenant governor and secretary
of state, as well as the General Assembly . The Governor\'s Mansion is
located in a residential section of Buckhead.
Atlanta serves as the
regional hub for many arms of the federal bureaucracy, including the
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention .
Atlanta also plays an important role in federal
judiciary system, containing the
United States Court of Appeals for
the Eleventh Circuit and of the
United States District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia .
Atlanta has been a stronghold for the Democratic Party
. Although municipal elections are officially nonpartisan, nearly all
of the city's elected officials are registered Democrats. The city is
split among 14 state house districts and four state senate districts,
all held by Democrats. At the federal level,
Atlanta is split between
two congressional districts. The northern three-fourths of the city is
located in the 5th district, represented by Democrat John Lewis . The
southern fourth is in the 13th district, represented by Democrat David
The city is served by the
Atlanta Police Department
Atlanta Police Department , which numbers
2,000 officers and oversaw a 40% decrease in the city's crime rate
between 2001 and 2009. Specifically, homicide decreased by 57%, rape
by 72%, and violent crime overall by 55%. Crime is down across the
country, but Atlanta's improvement has occurred at more than twice the
national rate. Nevertheless,
Atlanta as the sixth most
dangerous city in the
United States in 2012.
Main articles: List of colleges and universities in metropolitan
Atlanta Public Schools , and List of private schools in
Atlanta Tech Tower on the Georgia Tech campus Main Quad on
Emory University 's Druid Hills Campus
Due to the more than 30 colleges and universities located in the
Atlanta is considered a center for higher education. The
Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the most prominent public
universities in Atlanta; it is a research university located in
Midtown that has been consistently ranked among the nation's top ten
public universities for its degree programs in engineering, computing,
management, the sciences, architecture, and liberal arts. Georgia
State University is a major public research university located in
Downtown Atlanta ; it is the largest of the 29 public colleges and
universities in the
University System of Georgia
University System of Georgia and is a significant
contributor to the revitalization of the city's central business
Atlanta is home to nationally renowned private colleges and
universities, most notably
Emory University , a leading liberal arts
and research institution that ranks among the top 20 schools in the
United States and operates
Emory Healthcare , the largest health care
system in Georgia . The
Atlanta University Center is also located in
the city; it is the largest contiguous consortium of historically
black colleges , comprising
Spelman College , Clark
Morehouse College ,
Morehouse School of Medicine , and
Interdenominational Theological Center .
Atlanta contains a campus of
Savannah College of Art and Design , a private art and design
university that has proven to be a major factor in the recent growth
of Atlanta's visual art community.
Fifty-five thousand students are enrolled in 106 schools in Atlanta
Public Schools , some of which are operated as charter schools. The
district has been plagued by a widely publicized cheating scandal that
was exposed in 2009.
Atlanta is served by many private schools,
including parochial Roman Catholic schools operated by the Archdiocese
Media in Atlanta
The primary network-affiliated television stations in
WSB-TV (ABC), and
WAGA-TV (FOX). The
Atlanta metropolitan area is served by two public television stations
and one public radio station.
WGTV is the flagship station of the
Georgia Public Television network and is a PBS member
station, while WPBA is owned by
Atlanta Public Schools . Georgia
Public Radio is listener-funded and comprises one
NPR member station,
WABE , a classical music station operated by
Atlanta Public Schools .
Atlanta is served by the _
Atlanta Journal-Constitution _, its only
major daily newspaper with wide distribution. The _Atlanta
Journal-Constitution_ is the result of a 1950 merger between _The
Atlanta Journal_ and _The
Atlanta Constitution_, with staff
consolidation occurring in 1982 and separate publication of the
morning _Constitution_ and afternoon _Journal_ ceasing in 2001.
Alternative weekly newspapers include _
Creative Loafing _, which has a
weekly print circulation of 80,000. _
Atlanta _ magazine is an
award-winning, monthly general-interest magazine based in and covering
Transportation in Atlanta Concourse B at
Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest
Downtown Connector , seen at night in Midtown.
Atlanta's transportation infrastructure comprises a complex network
that includes a heavy rail rapid transit system, a light rail
streetcar loop, a multi-county bus system,
Amtrak service via the
Crescent , multiple freight train lines, an Interstate Highway System
, several airports, including the world's busiest, and over 45 miles
(72 kilometres) of bike paths.
Atlanta has a network of freeways that radiate out from the city, and
automobiles are the dominant means of transportation in the region.
Three major interstate highways converge in Atlanta: I-20 (east-west),
I-75 (northwest-southeast), and I-85 (northeast-southwest). The latter
two combine in the middle of the city to form the Downtown Connector
(I-75/85), which carries more than 340,000 vehicles per day and is one
of the most congested segments of interstate highway in the United
Atlanta is mostly encircled by
Interstate 285 , a beltway
locally known as "the Perimeter" that has come to mark the boundary
between "Inside the Perimeter" (ITP), the city and close-in suburbs,
and "Outside the Perimeter" (OTP), the outer suburbs and exurbs. The
heavy reliance on automobiles for transportation in
resulted in traffic, commute, and air pollution rates that rank among
the worst in the country.
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) provides
public transportation in the form of buses and heavy rail.
Notwithstanding heavy automotive usage in Atlanta, the city's subway
system is the eighth busiest in the country . MARTA rail lines
connect key destinations, such as the airport, Downtown, Midtown,
Buckhead, and Perimeter Center. However, significant destinations,
Emory University and Cumberland , remain unserved. As a
result, a 2011
Brookings Institution study placed
Atlanta 91st of 100
metro areas for transit accessibility.
Emory University operates its
Cliff shuttle buses with 200,000 boardings per month, while private
Buford Highway .
Amtrak , the national rail passenger
system, provides service to
Atlanta via the _Crescent train _ (New
York–New Orleans), which stops at
Peachtree Station . In 2014, the
Streetcar opened to the public. The streetcar's line, which is
also known as the Downtown Loop, runs 2.7 miles around the downtown
tourist areas of
Peachtree Center ,
Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park , the
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site , and Sweet Auburn.
Streetcar line is also being expanded on in the coming
years to include a wider range of Atlanta's neighborhoods and
important places of interest, with a total of over 50 miles of track
in the plan.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world's
busiest airport as measured by passenger traffic and aircraft traffic
. The facility offers air service to over 150 U.S. destinations and
more than 75 international destinations in 50 countries, with over
2,500 arrivals and departures daily.
Delta Air Lines maintains its
largest hub at the airport. Situated 10 miles (16 km) south of
downtown, the airport covers most of the land inside a wedge formed by
Interstate 75 ,
Interstate 85 , and
Interstate 285 .
Cycling is a growing mode of transportation in Atlanta, more than
doubling since 2009, when it comprised 1.1% of all commutes (up from
0.3% in 2000). Although Atlanta's lack of bike lanes and hilly
topography may deter many residents from cycling, the city's
transportation plan calls for the construction of 226 miles (364
kilometres) of bike lanes by 2020, with the
BeltLine helping to
achieve this goal. In 2012, Atlanta's first "bike track" was
constructed on 10th Street in Midtown. The two lane bike track runs
from Monroe Drive west to Charles Allen Drive, with connections to the
Beltline and Piedmont Park. Starting in June 2016,
Atlanta received a
bike sharing program with 100 bikes in Downtown and Midtown, which
expanded to 500 bikes at 65 stations as of April 2017.
Atlanta tree canopy For a sprawling city with the
nation's ninth-largest metro area,
Atlanta is surprisingly lush with
trees—magnolias , dogwoods , Southern pines , and magnificent oaks .
“ ” _National Geographic _ magazine, in naming
Atlanta a "Place
of a Lifetime"
Atlanta has a reputation as a "city in a forest" due to an abundance
of trees that is rare among major cities. The city's main street is
named after a tree , and beyond the Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead
business districts, the skyline gives way to a dense canopy of woods
that spreads into the suburbs. The city is home to the
Festival , an annual arts and crafts festival held one weekend during
early April, when the native dogwoods are in bloom. The nickname is
factually accurate, as the city's tree coverage percentage is at 36%,
the highest out of all major American cities, and above the national
average of 27%. Atlanta's tree coverage does not go unnoticed—it
was the main reason cited by _National Geographic _ in naming Atlanta
a "Place of a Lifetime".
The city's lush tree canopy, which filters out pollutants and cools
sidewalks and buildings, has increasingly been under assault from man
and nature due to heavy rains, drought, aged forests, new pests, and
urban construction. A 2001 study found that Atlanta's heavy tree cover
declined from 48% in 1974 to 38% in 1996. Community organizations and
the city government are addressing the problem. Trees
Atlanta , a
non-profit organization founded in 1985, has planted and distributed
over 75,000 shade trees in the city, and Atlanta's government has
awarded $130,000 in grants to neighborhood groups to plant trees.
See also: List of sister cities in the
Atlanta has 17 sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities
International , Inc. (SCI):
Montego Bay ,
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro ,
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne ,
United Kingdom (1977)
South Korea (1981)
Port of Spain ,
Trinidad and Tobago (1987)
Tbilisi , Georgia (1988)
Olympia, Greece (1995)
Salcedo, Dominican Republic (1996)
* Ra\'anana ,
* Fukuoka ,
List of people from Atlanta
* Geography portal
North America portal
United States portal
* Georgia USA portal
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City Councilman, later Mayor, William B. Hartsfield's work in making
Atlanta a major air transport hub, and about the Civil Rights Movement
as it affected (and was affected by) Atlanta.
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