While homicide rates in major cities across the country fell in 2013, Atlanta’s rate remained much the same. There were 84 homicides in the City of Atlanta during 2013, as compared to 83 in 2012, according to the FBI Uniformed Crime Report.
According to the report, 72 men and 12 women were killed. Of those killed, 72 were African-American, 10 were white, one was Asian, and the other was unknown. Victims were killed overwhelmingly by a stranger with a gun.
Below is a timeline of the murders, with a description of what the police believe happened, according to police reports. Additionally, there is a map of where the murders occurred.
Before Atlanta grew to be the biggest city in what is known as the Empire State of the South, it was the home of the Zero Milepost. The Zero Milepost marked the endpoint of a 138-mile railroad that started in Chattanooga. Around that endpoint, a bustling railroad city called Terminus began to form.
General William Sherman ran his Union soldiers through Terminus, burning most of it to the ground. However, the people remained resilient and again built around the milepost. Viaducts, or types of bridges, were built in the 1920’s. All the shops moved up, abandoning underground roads and aged storefronts below.
The forgotten places beneath became what is Underground Atlanta today. Plazas were constructed above starting in 1943, but in 1969 The Underground once again became the home to shops. The stores no longer resembled Jacob’s Pharmacy, the first store to sell Coca-Cola in 1866. Where people first took sips of Coke, they now buy vibrant Jordan shoes from Foot Locker.
Falling in behind the modern retail stores, chain restaurants and nightclubs moved in. Next came the Pac-Man Play Arcade. A sharp contrast to the history that surrounds it, the arcade breaks up the musty darkness with its lively music and brilliant lights.
On one side of the Underground sits a classical diner, Johnny Rockets. On the opposite half, dozens of kiosks reside, selling smartphones and rap mix tapes next to concrete blocks where old hotels stood nearly 200 years ago. Take a stroll from the historical side to the opposing MARTA station entrance, and you can see how Terminus became Atlanta and how it got from there to here.
The Underground has experienced a number of closings and reopenings for a variety of reasons. The war, MARTA, crime, and other reasons that lead to lack of retail eventually caused Atlanta to look for another solution. In mid-March, the city bought out the rest of the lease that The Underground had and now it looks to sell the subterennean mall to anyone with a plan for the area. The timeline below will help put the ups and downs of the plaza into a more visual perspective.
The 1970’s was probably the only decade that the Underground Atlanta really enjoyed any success over a period of time. The gallery below features some of the advertisements that a pedestrian would find while walking through the Underground for the restaurants and bars that were open.
Looks can be deceiving, but behind Virginia-Highland’s gorgeous bungalow style homes and vibrant nightlife lies an alluring history dating back to the early 1800s!
For instance, did you know this suburban haven was originally an attractive farmland? No? Now you do! Let’s take a trip down memory lane so you can see just how much Virginia-Highland has changed over the years!
Recognize the Midtown Place Shopping Center on Ponce de Leon Avenue? Would you believe me if I told you this popular shopping center used to be a lake? It’s true! In 1890, a man by the name of Julius Hartman designed a man-made lake on Ponce de Leon Avenue. After the lake was drained in 1907, the Atlanta Crackers’ stadium was built in its place. The Midtown Place Shopping Center was opened in 2000 and is located in the valley where the lake was once located.
Check out this old map of Atlanta below! Recognize anything familiar? Yes, it is Virginia-Highland, but this 1893 map depicts Todd Road, one of the oldest known streets in Atlanta! The road directly linked the homesteads of Hardy Ivy and Richard Copeland Todd; Ivy is often considered Atlanta’s first settler, while Todd is credited for being one of the earliest pioneers to move into the area. This map shows Todd Road continuing off of Ponce de Leon Avenue before Ponce was extended into Decatur. A small portion of Todd Road still exists today, as shown on the corresponding Google Map.
Not everything in Virginia-Highland has changed from the early days including this gem, the Solomon Goodwin House. This house, the oldest existent house in DeKalb County, is was remains of a 600-acre farm originally owned by pioneer Solomon Goodwin in the 1830s! To early travelers heading to Marthasville (now known as Atlanta), the Solomon Goodwin house was known for its hospitality over generations, especially for Civil War refugees and the poor affected by the Great Depression.
The Solomon Goodwin house was expanded into the present home in the 1830s and 1840s. The home, as well as the burial grounds of the Goodwin family still stands at 3931 Peachtree Road near the intersection of North Druid Hills Road. Fun fact: family members hold open tours to the public on the third Sunday of every month from 1 pm to 4 pm!
But the history of Virginia-Highland doesn’t end there! Check out this timeline of other important moments in Virginia-Highland history.