Parks and Recreation
Libraries and Museums
Holidays and Festivals
For Further Study
Founded: 1837; Incorporated: 1847
Location: Northwestern Georgia, United States, North America
Motto: "Wisdom, justice, and moderation" (state motto)
Flag: City seal in yellow on blue field.
Flower: Cherokee rose (state flower)
Time Zone: 7 am Eastern Standard Time (EST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White 30%, Black 67.1%, Other 2.9%
Elevation: 320 m (1,050 ft)
Latitude and Longitude: 33°74'N, 84°38'W
Climate: Moderate temperatures, with highly changeable weather patterns; natural barriers protect the city from very severe cold; snowfall is infrequent.
Annual Mean Temperature: 17.9°C (64.2°F); January 5.8°C (42.4°F); July 25.5°C (78.0°F)
Seasonal Average Snowfall: 5 cm (2 in); Average Annual Precipitation (total of rainfall and melted snow): 123.4 cm (48.6 in)
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 404, 678, 770
Postal Codes: 30301–94, 31101–56
Originating as a rail terminus in the nineteenth century and becoming an airline hub in the twentieth, Atlanta is a "city on the move" in more ways than one. Located in northwestern Georgia, Atlanta combines the local color of its Southern heritage with the progressive spirit that enabled it to rebuild from the fires of war, triumph over racial intolerance, and become a thriving, cosmopolitan business and cultural center. The city's attractions were spotlighted when it won the coveted honor of hosting the 1996 Olympic Games, which provided yet another opportunity for Atlanta to display its energy and its courage in overcoming adversity, when the Games were completed as planned in spite of the bombings in Centennial Olympic Park.
Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and its largest city, as well as the seat of Fulton County. It is located south of the Appalachian Mountains in northwestern Georgia.
North-south highways providing access to Atlanta include I-85, which connects the city to Greenville, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Montgomery, Alabama; and I-75, which extends northward to Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee, and south to Florida. The major east-west expressway is I-20 (the West Express-way), which leads to Birmingham, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; and westward to Texas and beyond. All of the preceding interstate highways intersect with I-285, known locally as "the Perimeter," which rings the city.
Bus and Railroad Service
Greyhound offers bus service to Atlanta. While slower than other modes of travel, it provides a unique way to experience the local color of the South. The Amtrak-operated Crescent, running north-south, connects Atlanta with points along the eastern seaboard.
As one of the nation's major airline hubs, Hartsfield International Airport, located about 16 kilometers (10 miles) outside downtown Atlanta, is one of the world's busiest airports, carrying 68 million passengers per year and providing nonstop service to 186 cities in the United States. The airport is home to Delta Airlines, which offers more than 500 flights a day from Hartsfield. A new concourse—the nation's largest—opened in 1994 for international travel, and further major improvements were made the following year, including a new central atrium linking the major terminals.
Although it is an inland city, Atlanta is a thriving shipping center, with Hartsfield International Airport accounting for the largest volume of goods shipped. A Foreign Trade Zone near the airport makes Atlanta an especially attractive destination for international shippers. The city is also served by the CSX and Norfolk Southern rail lines, as well as hundreds of motor freight carriers.
Atlanta Population Profile
Area: 341.4 sq km (131.8 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 30% white; 67.1% black; 2.9% other
Nicknames: City of Trees, Capital of the New South
Area: 15,866 sq km (6,126 sq mi)
World population rank 1: 113
Percentage of total US population 2: 1%
Average yearly growth rate: 0.7%
Ethnic composition: 71.4% white; 25.8% black; and 2.6% Asian/Pacific Islander
- The Atlanta metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
- The percent of the total population of the United States living in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Rather than a grid pattern, Atlanta was originally laid out with its streets converging on a central downtown area (Five Points). The city's growth has complicated this pattern with the addition of new streets—several dozen of which include the name "Peachtree"—and interstate highways cutting through the city. For visitors (and even, at times, natives), navigating the city's streets can be a challenge.
Bus and Commuter Rail Service
Atlanta boasts one of the nation's cutting-edge rapid transit systems, known as MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority). The system operates 240 electric rail cars over 62.7 kilometers (39 miles) of track. Lines running north-south and east-west converge at the Five Points Station in the heart of the city. Bus service is coordinated with the rapid-transit schedule; some 150 bus routes cover a total of 2,413 kilometers (1,500 miles).
Guided sightseeing tours are offered by several tour lines. A variety of specialty tours are offered as well, including a walking tour sponsored by the Atlanta Preservation Center, a tour of the Fox Theatre District, the Historic Downtown Tour focusing on architecture, the Sweet Auburn/MLK District Tour focusing on black history, and a tour of the neighborhood that served as the setting for the play and film Driving Miss Daisy.
In 1990, the population of Atlanta was 394,000, with the following racial composition: 30 percent white and 67.1 percent black, with other groups each accounting for percentages of less than one percent. Hispanics (an ethnic rather than a racial designation) accounted for 1.9 percent of the population. The 1994 population estimate was 396,000. The population of the Atlanta Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area was estimated at 3,627,184 as of 1997. The region's racial composition was listed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1996 as 71.4 percent white; 25.8 percent black; and 2.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander. Hispanics accounted for three percent of the metropolitan area population.
Downtown Atlanta is the city's business and financial center. Its landmarks include the Peachtree Center hotel, convention, and office complex; the Underground Atlanta shopping facility; Georgia State University; Centennial Olympic Park (developed for the 1996 Olympics); the Georgia World Congress Center; and the Georgia Dome athletic facility.
The traditionally black neighborhood of Sweet Auburn, home of Martin Luther King, Jr., draws large numbers of visitors every year. The National Park Service has accorded park status to the district in honor of Dr. King, whose boyhood home and church are located here.
The Midtown area, north of downtown, is home to some of Atlanta's best-known cultural institutions, including the renowned Fox Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, where the Atlanta Symphony performs, the Hugh Museum of Art, and the Alliance Theatre. Also located here are Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Buckhead is an upscale district located about ten kilometers (six miles) north of downtown Atlanta, home to elegant mansions, exclusive shops and boutiques, and fine restaurants. The Atlanta History Center is located here.
The Virginia-Highland neighborhood is Atlanta's Greenwich Village, featuring a colorful mix of bookstores, sidewalk cafes, art galleries, bistros, ethnic restaurants, and eclectic shops that draw the culturally sophisticated to this part of town.
Against a gracious setting that includes a number of Victorian homes, Little Five Points serves as a center for youthful Generation X-and Y-ers to display the latest in offbeat youth culture trends.
The suburb of Decatur, founded in 1823, is known for its many festivals and other annual events, as well as the impressive Farmers Market.
Atlanta's origin as a railroad settlement was evident in its original name—Terminus—when founded as a village in 1837. It was to this spot that the Western & Atlantic railroad was to run southward from the Tennessee state line, and from here that it would connect with other parts of the state. Reinforcing the white settlers' hold on the area was an edict forcing 17,000 Cherokee and Creek Indians hundreds of miles westward, on the route that became known as the "Trail of Tears." The town was renamed Marthasville in 1843, Atlanta two years later, and incorporated in 1848. By the start of the Civil War (1861–65), Atlanta was a bustling commercial center.
In 1861, after vigorous public debate, Atlanta decided to become one of the 11 states seceding from the Union over the issue of slavery, even making a bid to become the capital of the Confederacy—an honor that ultimately went to Richmond, Virginia. The rail links that had allowed the city to rise to prominence before the war made it a vital supply depot and medical center during the conflict, a fact that also made it an attractive target for Union forces. In the summer of 1864 Confederate forces under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman laid siege to the city, which was first occupied and then virtually burned to the ground by Union troops.
Military occupation by Union soldiers continued until 1876, but the city began energetically rebuilding. The railroads were repaired, and new homes, businesses, and cultural and educational institutions sprang up. In 1877 Atlanta became the permanent capital of Georgia; in 1888 it adopted as its official symbol a phoenix rising from the ashes, as the city itself had done. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, the city's population more than doubled, to 90,000.
The city continued its rapid growth in the early twentieth century, its population reaching 155,000 by 1910 and continuing to rise in spite of a second catastrophic fire in 1917. The city's black population grew rapidly, and the early years of the century were marred by the racial intolerance common throughout the South. In 1900 Atlanta professor W. E. B. du Bois founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), still the nation's leading advocacy institution for blacks. Following race riots in the early 1900s, the black business community formed its own successful enclave on Auburn Street, where it thrived. Eventually, Atlanta became a center of black higher education, characterized by long-time mayor William Hartsfield as a city "too busy to hate." With the rise to prominence of Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta became a hub of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
Atlanta, begun as a rail terminus, continued its tradition of transportation leadership with the completion of its first airport in 1929 and its rapid rise to become one of the nation's major air transport centers. Improved facilities followed in rapid succession in 1961, 1977, and 1980, the year the new Harts-field International Airport opened. "Whether you're going to heaven or hell," it has been said, "you'll have to change planes in Atlanta."
|City Fact Comparison|
|Population of urban area1||2,689,000||10,772,000||2,688,000||12,033,000|
|Date the city was founded||1837||AD 969||753 BC||723 BC|
|Daily costs to visit the city2|
|Hotel (single occupancy)||$93||$193||$172||$129|
|Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)||$36||$56||$59||$62|
|Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.)||$22||$14||$15||$16|
|Total daily costs (hotel, meals, incidentals)||$131||$173||$246||$207|
|Number of newspapers serving the city||1||13||20||11|
|Largest newspaper||Atlanta Journal-Constitution||Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar||La Repubblica||Renmin Ribao|
|Circulation of largest newspaper||303,698||1,159,450||754,930||3,000,000|
|Date largest newspaper was established||1868||1944||1976||1948|
|1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.|
|2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.|
|3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.|
In the post-war decades Atlanta has become an increasingly cosmopolitan city, drawing a growing number of international travelers with such facilities as a 4,500-seat civic center, a 16,000-seat coliseum, and a 232,250-square-meter (two-and-a-half-million-square-foot) convention center. The city acquired three major-league sports teams in the 1960s. In 1988, Atlanta gained international attention when it hosted the Democratic National Convention. The global spotlight shone even more brightly on the city in the 1990s, as it prepared for the 1996 Olympics, transforming its landscape with the construction of the Olympic Village. The Games drew 11,000 athletes from 197 different countries—a record for the modern Olympics. They were marred by a bombing in Centennial Olympic Park that killed two people and injured more than 100, but the Games went on as scheduled. Crowds soon flocked back to the park, and the focus returned to the athletes themselves, whose triumphs ultimately provided the main drama of the Games and left the city with indelible positive images of the long-planned event.
Atlanta's municipal government vests executive power in its mayor; the legislative function is carried out by an 18-member council, whose members are elected both by individual districts and citywide. Atlanta is also the capital of Georgia and home to its 56-member state senate and 180-member house of representatives and its governor.
With more than 2,300 employees, the Atlanta Police Department is Georgia's largest law enforcement agency. It has declared as its major public safety priorities youth-related crime, domestic violence, and the perception of crime in Atlanta.
In 1995, violent crimes reported to police (per 100,000 population) totaled 3,646 and included 45 murders, 109 rapes, 1,300 robberies, and 2,191 aggravated assaults. Property crimes totaled 13,421 and included 2,892 burglaries, 8,463 cases of larceny/theft, and 2,065 motor vehicle thefts.
Atlanta has a thriving economy and is known for its pro-business climate, the result of a combination of factors, including its excellent infrastructure and status as an airline hub, and the welcoming attitude of the city and its residents toward outsiders. Major corporations headquartered in Atlanta include BellSouth Corporation, Coca-Cola, the United Parcel System, Delta Air Lines, Pacific Corporation, and Home Depot. In addition, several hundred of the nation's top companies have branch offices in Atlanta. Atlanta's most famous businessman is broadcasting mogul Ted Turner, founder of the Cable News Network (CNN) and owner of the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks sports teams.
For a major urban area, Atlanta has an unusual degree of tree cover, and the city works hard to keep it that way. A government permit is required to cut down a tree, and all trees that are removed must be replaced by a variety of shade trees. Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit organization dedicated to tree conservation, planted more than 12,000 trees in the 1990s.
Atlanta is considered the shopping capital of the southeastern United States, famed both for the number and variety of retailers in the region. In the heart of the city is Underground Atlanta, with both underground and above-ground shopping thoroughfares. The wealthy Buckhead neighborhood is considered a "must" for shoppers, with a variety of specialty stores, boutiques, antique stores (for which Bennett Street is known), and galleries, as well as two major shopping malls, both located at the intersection of Peachtree and Lenox roads. Attracting 14 million visitors annually, Lenox Square is Atlanta's oldest and largest shopping mall. It is anchored by major retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Macy's, and Atlanta-based Rich's, and boasts some 200 specialty stores of all kinds. Nearby is the upscale Phipps Plaza, home to Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as such famous brand name stores as Tiffany and Gucci. Other popular malls in the Atlanta area include Perimeter and the Galleria. Stone Mountain Village, just outside Stone Mountain Park, features antiques, crafts, and collectibles in an old-time village setting with historic buildings.
Atlanta's public school system enrolled 60,064 students in a total of 99 schools in the fall of 1996 and employed 3,605 classroom teachers, with a student/teacher ratio of 16.7 to one. During the 1995–96 school year, 2,054 students graduated from high schools in the city. In the 1994–95 school year, revenues from state, local, and federal sources totaled $499,845,000, and expenditures totaled $416,105, or $6,986 per pupil.
In the 1990s public education in Atlanta received a boost with the inauguration of the Georgia Lottery for Education. Among the activities it has helped fund are a prekindergarten program, the HOPE scholarship program, and new educational technology, as well as centers to train school personnel in using it. Atlanta's public school system has been widely praised for its Magnet School Program, which offers concentrated courses of study to students interested in particular career areas, including communications, performing arts, information processing, and the hospitality industry.
Located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia State University is the state's second-largest institution of higher learning. The university enrolls more than 20,000 students, who take courses offered by 50 academic departments. Emory University is a noted private university situated on a 255-hectare (631-acre) campus in Atlanta. It underwent major physical improvement and expansion in the 1990s thanks to a $105 million gift from the Emily and Ernest Woodruff Fund. A unique academic presence in Atlanta is Atlanta University Center, a consortium of six traditionally black colleges in the area. The six colleges, which share some facilities, but remain independent entities, are Clark Atlanta University, Inter-denominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College.
Other colleges and universities in the Atlanta area include the Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta Metropolitan College, DeKalb College, the DeVry Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Oglethorpe University.
13. Health Care
Home to many first-rate health care professionals and facilities, Atlanta offers its residents the highest quality of care. Both Emory University and the Morehouse School of Medicine train future doctors, and the Emory University Health Care System—comprising Emory University Hospital, Crawford Long Hospital, the Emory Clinic, and other affiliates—is the city's largest healthcare institution. In 1998, Emory University Hospital had 513 staffed beds, employed 1,220 personnel, and recorded 20,336 admissions and 72,898 outpatient visits. Egleston Children's Health Care System is a major referral center for the Southeast, treating more than 100,000 children every year.
In 1995 the Atlanta metropolitan area had 43 community hospitals, with a total of 9,706 beds and 5,755 office-based physicians.
As home to the Turner Broadcasting System, the Weather Channel, 11 television stations, and both a morning and afternoon major daily newspaper, Atlanta is a major media outlet. Turner Broadcasting operates CNN, the first round-the-clock all-news network, begun in 1980 by media magnate Ted Turner, as well as other networks and a number of subsidiaries. The company also owns the rights to thousands of film and TV titles, including Gone with the Wind, the classic film written by Atlantan Margaret Mitchell. In addition to 11 major local television stations, Atlanta has dozens of AM and FM radio stations running the gamut from National Public Radio (NPR) to country-and-western.
Atlanta's major newspaper is a daily that appears weekday mornings as The Atlanta Constitution and afternoons as the Atlanta Journal. Combined editions of the two papers appear over the weekend. In 1998 daily circulation was reported as 353,770 mornings, 123,220 evenings, and 677,019 for the combined paper on Sundays. Other Atlanta dailies are the African-American newspaper the Atlanta Daily World, the Daily Report, a paper for the business and legal communities, and the Marietta Daily Journal, which focuses on local coverage of Cobb County.
General-interest periodicals published in Atlanta include the monthly Atlanta Magazine, the bi-monthly Atlanta Now, published by the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Atlanta Tribune, a newsmagazine that focuses on African Americans, and the monthly Guide to Georgia, which lists upcoming events in Atlanta and elsewhere in the state. Special-interest periodicals include the quarterly Popcorn, focusing on glamour and entertainment; Poets, Artists, and Madmen, which covers the arts; and Art Papers, a bimonthly that is the most influential art publication in the Southeast.
Atlanta fields major-league teams in baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. The Atlanta Braves baseball franchise, owned by Ted Turner, was dubbed the "team of the '90s," competing in the World Series four times in the decade and winning the championship in 1995. Turner Field, the Braves' home since 1997, was modified from a structure originally built for the 1996 Olympic Games. The Atlanta Hawks NBA basketball team, also owned by Turner, moved to a new home downtown in Philips Arena in the fall of 1999. The NFL's Atlanta Falcons play home games in the Georgia Dome. A new NHL hockey team, the Atlanta Thrashers, began play in Philips Arena in the fall of 1999.
Auto racing can be seen at Road Atlanta, a 45-minute drive north from downtown and one of the region's best auto-racing venues.
At 75 hectares (185 acres), Piedmont Park is Atlanta's largest park. The tree-filled park is a favorite with walkers, who can enjoy a six-kilometer (four-mile) loop trail over its somewhat hilly terrain. There is also a paved five-kilometer (three-mile) jogging path and trails for cycling and skating, as well as ball fields frequently used for baseball and football. Home to the annual Arts Festival of Atlanta and many other fairs and festivals, Piedmont Park is also the location of the Atlanta Botanical Garden and a regular venue for summertime Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concerts. Other Atlanta parks include Chastain Park and Grant Park.
The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area extends along the Chattahoochee River shoreline. It is graced with scenic views and abundant plant and animal life and also offers 113 kilometers (70 miles) of trails. The Chattahoochee Nature Center offers both woodland and wetland trails. Other parks in the Greater Atlanta area include Panola Mountain State Conservation Park, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and Sweetwater Creek State Park.
Atlanta has a number of municipal golf courses, and several privately owned courses are also open to the public. The Atlanta area also offers facilities for horseback riding, field hockey, ice skating, racquetball, tennis, and other popular recreational activities.
17. Performing Arts
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which rose to prominence under the direction of famed American choral and orchestral conductor Robert Shaw, performs in Woodruff Arts Center under the direction of its current music director, Yoel Levi. Also performing a regular season of classical music are the Atlanta Chamber Players, whose repertoire ranges from the classics to contemporary pieces specially commissioned by the ensemble. The Atlanta Opera, directed by William Fred Scott, stages four productions annually at the Fox Theatre, attracting top guest soloists from across the country. In 1998, the Opera had 6,822 seasonal subscribers and a budget of $4.96 million. The company's educational and outreach division, the Atlanta Opera Studio, performs throughout the state, staging comic and one-act operas.
Atlanta's main theater group—and the major theatrical group in the South-east—is the Alliance Theatre Company, which performs at the Woodruff Arts Center, staging approximately ten plays per year. Special performances for children are staged by the Alliance Children's Theatre. Other Atlanta theater companies include Actor's Express, Horizon Theatre Company, Neighborhood Playhouse, Theatrical Outfit, Theatre Gael, and Theatre in the Square.
First founded in 1929 as the Dorothy Alexander Dance Concert Group, the Atlanta Ballet is the oldest continuously performing ballet troupe in the nation. In addition to a six-productions annual series, the company offers a performance of The Nutcracker every year.
In addition to the Woodruff Arts Center and the Fox Theatre, other venues for local and touring performers include the Atlanta Civic Center and Variety Playhouse. Outdoor theaters include Chastain Park Amphitheatre and the Coca-Cola Lakewood Amphitheatre.
Founded in 1901, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System serves 780,694 people, with an annual circulation of 3,102,081. Its book holdings total approximately 426,248 volumes. The library system also operates 32 neighborhood branches. The areas in which it holds special collections include African American Culture & History, Genealogy, and Margaret Mitchell.
Atlanta's High Museum of Art is housed in a modern award-winning building designed by architect Richard Meier and completed in 1983. The building features a series of ramps that curve along the building's front wall and an elevator that goes to the very top. The museum maintains some 10,000 artworks in its permanent collection, ranging from primitive to classical to contemporary, and regularly features traveling exhibitions. A separate collection, housed in the Georgia-Pacific Center, features folk art and photography.
Atlanta's cosmopolitan reputation and thriving business activity bring many visitors to the city, and tourism received a major boost from the 1996 Olympics. In 1995 approximately 495,000 foreign travelers visited the city, ranking it twelfth nationally in this category.
Atlanta Boat Show
Atlanta Garden & Patio Show
National King Week
Southeastern Flower Show
Atlanta Home Show
St. Patrick's Day Celebration
Atlanta Dogwood Festival
Fat Tuesday Jazz & Heritage Crawfish Festival
Inman Park Spring Festival & Tour of Homes
PGA BellSouth Classic
Atlanta Renaissance Festival
Atlanta Caribbean Folk Festival
Atlanta Jazz Festival
Taste of the South Festival
LATE MAY-EARLY JUNE
Spring Boat Show
Atlanta Film & Video Festival
Stone Mountain Village Arts & Crafts Festival
Georgia Shakespeare Festival
National Black Arts Festival
Thunder Over Atlanta Fireworks
Montreux Atlanta International Music Festival
Arts Festival of Atlanta
Atlanta Greek Festival
Roswell Arts Festival
Yellow Daisy Festival
Scottish Festival & Highland Games
Tour of Southern Ghosts
Atlanta Christmas Show
Peachtree International Film Festival
Art of the Season
CNN Center Tuba Christmas
Festival of Trees
First Night Atlanta
New Year's Eve Peach Drop
21. Famous Citizens
Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron (b. 1934), black baseball great who broke Babe Ruth's home run record in 1974.
Henry W. Grady (1850–89), editor of the Atlanta Constitution during the post-Civil War period who worked to reconstruct Atlanta as a modern metropolis.
Joel Chandler Harris (1848–1908), author famous for his children's tales of B'rer Rabbit.
Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones (1902–71), golfer who founded the Masters Tournament and compiled a golfing record unsurpassed in the history of the game.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), civil rights leader and Nobel Prizewinning champion of social progress through nonviolent resistance.
Margaret Mitchell (1900–49), onetime reporter famous as the author of Gone with the Wind.
John C. Portman (b. 1924), architect who pioneered the atrium-lobby in hotel design and designed many major Atlanta buildings in the 1960s.
Robert Edward "Ted" Turner (b. 1938), media and entertainment mogul who founded the Cable News Network (CNN) and owns the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Hawks.
Alfred Uhry (b. 1936), prize-winning playwright and author of numerous award-winning dramas, including Driving Miss Daisy.
Robert W. Woodruff (1889–1985), Coca-Cola Company president known for his outstanding civic leadership.
Atlanta.TheLinks.com [Online] Available http://www.atlanta.thelinks.com/ (accessed October 15, 1999).
DigitalCity WebGuide Atlanta. [Online] Available http://www.webguide.digitalcity.com/atlanta (accessed October 15, 1999).
Excite Travel, Inc. [Online] Available http://www.city.net/countries/united_states/georgia/atlanta (accessed October 15, 1999).
Info Atlanta. [Online] Available http://www.travel.to/atlanta (accessed October 15, 1999).
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Ave. SW
Atlanta, GA 30335
Atlanta Planning and Development Dept.
55 Trinity Ave. SW, Suite 1450
Atlanta, GA 30335
55 Trinity Ave. SW, Suite 2400
Atlanta, GA 30335
Tourist and Convention Bureaus
Atlanta Convention and Visitors' Bureau
233 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30303
P.O. Box 4689
Atlanta, GA 30302
1330 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 450
Atlanta, GA 30309
Allen, Frederick. Atlanta Rising: The Invention of an International City, 1946–1996. Atlanta, GA: Longstreet Press, 1996.
Clayton, Sarah Conley. Requiem for a Lost City: A Memoir of Civil War Atlanta and the Old South. Ed. Robert Scott Davis, Jr. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1999.
David, Harold E. Henry Grady's New South: Atlanta, A Brave and Beautiful City. University of Alabama Press, 1990.
Davis, Ren, and Helen Davis. Atlanta Walks: A Guide to Walking, Running, and Bicycling Historic and Scenic Atlanta. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers, 1993.
Garrison, Webb B. Atlanta and the War. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 1995.
Gournay, Isabelle. AIA Guide to the Architecture of Atlanta. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993.
Knorr, Rosanne. Kidding Around Atlanta. J. Muir, 1997.
Kuhn, Clifford M. Living Atlanta, An Oral History of the City, 1914–1948. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1990.
McCarley, J. Britt. The Atlanta Campaign: A Civil War Driving Tour of Atlanta Area Battlefields. Atlanta: Cherokee Publishing Co., 1984.
Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind. New York: Macmillan, 1936. [Fiction]
Pomerantz, Gary. Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: The Saga of Two Families and the Making of Atlanta. New York: Scribner, 1996.
Shavin, Norman, and Bruce Galphin. Atlanta: Triumph of a People. Atlanta: Capricorn Corp., 1985.
Thompson, Joseph F., and Robert Isbell. Atlanta: A City of Neighborhoods. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1994.
"Atlanta." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cities. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta
"Atlanta." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cities. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta
The Atlanta area offers extraordinarily rich opportunities for leisure, pleasure, and culture. A popular site within the city is Grant Park, which includes scenic walking paths, the Zoo Atlanta featuring a Giant Panda exhibit until 2009, and some Civil War fortifications. The Civil War Museum on park grounds houses the famous Cyclorama, a huge three-dimensional panoramic painting of the Battle of Atlanta. Visitors sit on a revolving platform to view the work, the impact heightened by sound and light effects as well as a narration that explains the scene. Open since 1893, it is dubbed "The Longest Running Show in the Country." Various Civil War battle sites, parks, cemeteries, and memorials are also scattered throughout the city and are accessible to visitors. Scheduled to open in late 2005 is the $200 million Georgia Aquarium, featuring more than 55,000 animals in 5 million gallons of fresh and marine waters. The new Aquarium expects to serve more than 2 million visitors annually.
Also within the city is the Georgia State Capitol. Built in 1889 and patterned after the Capitol in Washington, D.C., it has a dome plated with gold mined in northern Georgia. Besides serving as the meeting place for the state's General Assembly, the Capitol is home to the Georgia Capitol Museum.
Underground Atlanta is an "adult playground" of bars, restaurants, and shops in the heart of the city's downtown. Every New Year's it plays host to the "Peach Drop" with music, fireworks, and an 800-pound peach resembling New York's Times Square ball. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic District near Underground Atlanta honors the slain civil rights leader, a native of Atlanta. The entire area was renovated in time for the 1996 Olympic Games to give a sense of the neighborhood as it was during King's lifetime. The district encompasses King's childhood home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church (where he preached), and, adjacent to the church, his tomb. The district includes a visitors' center that tells the story of the civil rights movement and King's role in the movement. Nearby is the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change that draws about 650,000 visitors annually.
Adjacent to Underground Atlanta in a three-story pavilion, The World of Coca-Cola, a collection of exhibits and more than 1,000 articles commemorating the history of Atlanta's most famous product, provides fun for the whole family. Another popular attraction is the CNN Center, the news and entertainment center of Turner Broadcasting's global headquarters, which offers tours, shops, and restaurants.
Outside Atlanta are several other notable attractions. The most popular is Stone Mountain, located about 20 miles east of downtown. The world's largest mass of exposed granite, the treeless dome stands more than 800 feet above the surrounding plain and measures approximately 5 miles in circumference. On the mountain's north face are carved colossal figures of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and General Stonewall Jackson. Work began in 1923 but after several design changes it was not declared completed until 1972. A 3,200-acre park fans out from the base of the mountain, featuring a lake and recreational facilities for dozens of sports and other outdoor activities such as waterslides, golf, and tennis along with laser shows and a riverboat. Also within the park is Magnolia Hall, an authentic antebellum plantation house moved from another Georgia location and restored to its former elegance. Some 20 miles north of Atlanta is Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which also combines history and recreation. The site of several major Civil War battles, the Kennesaw Mountain area now boasts a museum and some fortifications along with hiking trails and picnic grounds.
For those seeking pure entertainment, Six Flags parks bring three different venues to the area. Six Flags Over Georgia is located about 12 miles west of the city. The 331-acre family-oriented theme park features more than 100 rides, musical shows, and other attractions. During the summer months, thousands of visitors make it one of the busiest parks in the area. Six Flags White Water offers a variety of water-related activities such as giant slides, raft rides, and body flumes. Adjacent to it is Six Flags American Adventure, an outdoor park with roller coasters, bumper cars, and an array of rides for small children.
For nature-lovers, the Fernbank Science Center has trails, natural history exhibits, and one of the largest planetariums in the nation. The Fernbank Museum of Natural History offers 160,000 square feet of space providing dinosaur and wildlife exhibits and an IMAX theater. The Atlanta Botanical Garden, located in Piedmont Park, is also a favorite stop for those wishing to enjoy its vegetable, herb, rose, and oriental plantings on 15 acres. The Botanical Garden also includes a children's garden and a conservatory with rare and endangered plants from rainforests and deserts.
Arts and Culture
Integral to Atlanta's cultural life is the Woodruff Arts Center, consisting of the Memorial Arts Building (itself a work of modern art) and the High Museum of Art. The cooperating units in the center include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Alliance Theatre, and the Atlanta College of Art. Another major center is the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, located in a 1920s-era Gothic-Tudor-style mansion. The center accommodates 4,000 students annually with various arts classes, and offers a range of concerts, recitals, and exhibits.
Atlanta has a vital theater, dance, and music community that profits from the area's fine facilities and the generous patronage of its businesses and interested citizens. Performing at the Memorial Arts Building of the Woodruff Arts Center are the Alliance Theatre, which stages both standard and innovative works, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Entertainment is provided by numerous other professional and amateur groups based in Atlanta, including the Atlanta Ballet (the oldest regional ballet company in the United States, originating in 1929), the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, and the Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Since 1978, The Center of Puppetry Arts is said to be the only facility in the country devoted solely to puppetry and features three performance series, workshops, and a museum.
Local colleges and universities also sponsor a wide variety of performing arts programs in theater, dance, and music. Oglethorpe University's Georgia Shakespeare Festival presents a series of performances in the summer and fall.
Atlanta's museums and galleries cater to many different interests. State and local history are on view at the Atlanta History Center, whose main attractions are the Swan House, a former private residence that typifies the milieu of a wealthy Atlanta family during the 1930s; and Tullie Smith House, a restored 1835 farm house that illustrates how early Georgia farmers lived and worked; and several gardens.
Other museums in the city include the Wren's Nest, a Victorian mansion that was named a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and was home to Joel Chandler Harris, creator of the Uncle Remus stories, and now displays original furnishings, books, and memorabilia; the Margaret Mitchell house in midtown; the Governor's Mansion, a modern structure built in Greek Revival style and housing nineteenth-century furnishings; the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, whose exhibits include A Walk Through Time in Georgia; and the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, a 50,000-square-foot facility that opened in 1996 and has exhibits dating to 1733, when Jews first settled in Georgia, along with a Holocaust gallery.
With a few notable exceptions, private galleries showcase most of Atlanta's art. Public facilities include the High Museum of Art, which displays more than 11,000 works of primarily Western art from the early Renaissance to the present, and Chastain Gallery, which highlights the contemporary works of Georgia artists.
Festivals and Holidays
Two of Atlanta's biggest celebrations are the Dogwood Festival, held every spring, and the Arts Festival, a staple on the fall calendar. The Dogwood Festival coincides with the blooming of dogwood trees in the area in April; events include a parade, tours, garden competitions, arts and crafts displays, canine competition, and musical performances. Held in downtown Atlanta, the Arts Festival is a week-long affair that attracts nearly 2 million people to a multitude of different activities involving the visual and performing arts. Among Atlanta's other annual events are the Memorial Day weekend Jazz Festival and summer concert series, which features local and international talent; the Peachtree Road Race, a 10K run held annually since 1970 during the July 4th holiday; the National Black Arts Festival, held in late June and early July at the Woodruff Arts Center focusing on dance, music, and art; the Stone Mountain Highland Games and Scottish Festival, an October celebration since 1973 that brings international travelers to the region; and December's Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl football game and its related activities.
Sports for the Spectator
Fans of sports of all kinds can usually find their favorite form of action somewhere in Atlanta, the sports capital of the South. The city is home to five professional franchises: the Falcons, a National Football League team; baseball's National League team, the Braves; the Hawks, a National Basketball Association team; the Thrashers, a National Hockey League team; and the Ruckus, of the American Professional Soccer League. The Falcons play at the Georgia Dome. The Braves play at Turner Field, formerly the Centennial Olympic Stadium downtown. The Hawks and Thrashers face their rivals at the $219 million Philips Arena, which opened in September 1999.
Since 1934 Atlanta has been home to the nation's largest recreational tennis league, Atlanta Lawn and Tennis Association (ALTA), with more than 81,000 members. Stone Mountain Tennis Center, which seats about 2,000 people around two center courts and has an 8,000-seat stadium, played host to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Tennis. The city also hosts many collegiate competitions in these same sports, among them the annual Peach Bowl football contest and the NCAA basketball championships, the Heritage Bowl, and others.
Auto racing buffs have two tracks to choose from just outside the metropolitan area. Atlanta Motor Speedway, about 25 miles south of the city, features NASCAR and other events. Forty-five miles north of the city is Road Atlanta, site of one of the world's largest sports car races, an event that draws top international drivers and thousands of spectators. The Grand Prix of Atlanta is held annually in April.
Atlanta also hosts numerous other sporting events throughout the year. Two of the most notable are the BellSouth Classic, a Professional Golfer's Association tournament held every spring at the Sugarloaf Country Club which raises money for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Steeplechase, the area's major horse show. Tennis and polo are also growing in popularity as spectator sports in Atlanta.
Sports for the Participant
Atlanta's physical setting and mild climate combine to make the city and its environs ideal for outdoor activities of all types. Running is an especially popular local sport; the Atlanta Track Club is one of the largest in the country, and it sponsors a number of annual events, including the Peachtree Road Race 10K and the Atlanta Women's 5K. Golfers may choose from 39 public courses and a host of new luxury golf communities growing up outside the city, while tennis players can visit any one of more than 200 courts.
Water sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the facilities along the Chattahoochee River to go canoeing, rafting, fishing, and camping. Within an hour's drive of the city are Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona, both man-made lakes surrounded by recreation areas that encompass beaches, golf courses, horseback riding trails, and other amenities.
The Peachtree Center Athletic Club brings a number of activities to the downtown area such as aquatics, racquetball, pilates, squash, and group fitness.
Shopping and Dining
Atlanta's modern shopping facilities draw consumers to the city from throughout the entire region. More than a dozen malls and outlet centers ring the metropolitan area. Lenox Square, in the Buckhead neighborhood, and nearby Phipps Plaza, offer exclusive shops such as Neiman Marcus, Macy's, and Rich's along with antique stores. Downtown, Peachtree Center offers shopping in the heart of the city while other shopping opportunities await at Underground Atlanta. Opened since 1999 just north of Atlanta is the Mall of Georgia, the southeast's largest shopping complex; it is anchored by Lord & Taylor, Penney's, Dillard's, Rich-Macy's, and Nordstrom, and its restaurants offer cuisines ranging from traditional Southern food to upscale and ethnic delicacies. The mall's decor incorporates the five regions of Georgia and their histories. Ten miles south of the city is the State Farmer's Market, a gigantic retail and wholesale center where visitors have the opportunity to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, meats, plants, shrubs, and flowers.
Atlanta diners have hundreds of restaurants to choose from, and traditional Southern cooking (catfish, hushpuppies, ham and redeye gravy, barbecue, fried chicken, and Brunswick stew) and soul food are widely available. Atlanta's growth as a center of international business has made haute cuisine and ethnic specialties extremely popular alternatives to traditional southern fare.
Visitor Information: Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, 233 Peachtree St., NE, Ste. 100, Atlanta, GA 30303; telephone (404)521-6600; fax (404)577-3293. The Convention Bureau publishes a city guide especially for African Americans called Atlanta Heritage. A visitor center is located at Underground Atlanta.
"Atlanta: Recreation." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-recreation
"Atlanta: Recreation." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-recreation
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
While the Coca-Cola Company wields considerable influence in Atlanta—much of it in areas outside its immediate manufacturing concerns—no single industry or firm truly dominates the local economy. Service industries employ the largest number of workers, but trade and manufacturing are also important elements. Having such diversity, Atlanta has been slower to suffer a downturn and quicker to recover from any temporary setback than many other major American cities. In fact, metropolitan Atlanta saw a decrease in unemployment and an increase in its labor force between 2002–2003 despite the country's economic recession during that time period.
In 2000, 24 Fortune 1000 corporations were headquartered in metropolitan Atlanta. Atlanta is home to BellSouth, Delta Airlines, Home Depot, UPS, and Georgia-Pacific, among other big names.
The Atlanta MSA added more than 1.1 million new residents between 1990–2000, which has attracted more and more new businesses. Metropolitan Atlanta has consistently led the nation in new housing permits every year since 1991, leading the way in 2003 with 53,750 new permits, according to Bureau of Census figures. In 1991, according to the National Association of Home Builders, the number was nearly 25,000; in comparison, 2002 topped off at 66,550.
Efforts by Georgia Tech and local industry to make Atlanta a high-tech center are paying off; even though much of the technology field suffered losses, Atlanta held steady and was ranked third in 2003 among the top ten metropolitan areas in this field by the Milken Institute. Atlanta is also becoming a leading world center of business and trade. More than 1,300 foreign-based businesses have operations in metropolitan Atlanta, and they employ more than 81,000 residents.
Items and goods produced: metals, machinery, transportation, equipment, food and beverages, printing, publishing, textiles, apparel, furniture, telecommunications hardware, steel, chemicals
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
Georgia has the reputation for being a strong pro-business state. Many new companies have relocated to metro Atlanta and have either built new facilities or converted vacant office space. The various local and state business incentives offered have encouraged these company moves as well as expansions of local firms.
Atlanta was an empowerment zone city named by the Clinton administration, but in 2002 it converted to a "Renewal Community" allowing the city to benefit from a nationwide pot of $17 billion in tax incentives. Businesses within the three "renewal clusters" that were created receive tax credits and deductions, capital gains exclusives, and bond financing.
Georgia has business-friendly tax laws; the state does not use the unitary tax method, but instead taxes businesses only on income apportioned to Georgia. In addition, at four percent the state sales tax rate has risen only one percentage point since 1951. Attractive inventory tax exemptions are available in all metropolitan Atlanta counties, and sales and property tax exemptions are available for certain pollution control equipment used in production. Georgia's Freeport zones, like Atlanta's, exempt for ad valorem taxation all or part of the value of certain tangible property held in certain inventories. Companies can apply for a permit from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division which can result in their obtaining their federal permit as well, via a single application.
Job training programs
The Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education administers the Georgia Quick Start program, a three-way partnership between Quick Start, one of the state's technical institutions, and a company wishing to start up business in Georgia via 34 technical colleges and institutes, 4 associated university programs, and 18 satellite campuses. By developing and implementing high quality customized training programs and materials, Quick Start assists the company in obtaining a trained work force ready to begin as soon as the company opens for business. In addition, metro Atlanta's 43 colleges and universities provide a continuing supply of educated and ready-to-work graduates.
The staging of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta had a tremendous impact on development that extends today. More than $2 billion was spent on new construction, sporting arenas, entertainment venues, and beautification projects in preparation for the games. Another $100 million was spent on hotel renovations and expansions. The downtown area received the lion's share of the improvements as the city furthered its goal of becoming world class. Buildings were leveled and 21 acres were cleared to create the $57 million Centennial Olympic Park, which now serves as the centerpiece of downtown Atlanta. Following the Olympics, the city was left with several other multimillion-dollar sporting venues, including Turner Field, now home to the Atlanta Braves; the Georgia International Horse Park; and the Stone Mountain Tennis Center. While all of the Olympics-related construction was going on, downtown living was making a comeback with the construction of new housing units. In December 2004 Centennial Park West, which began building in 1999–2000, sold three of its million-dollar penthouse suites leaving it only four short of sellout. This property is part of Legacy Property Group, LLC who has also been involved in a 435,000 square foot, $100 million hotel and residential development that has brought the downtown area an Embassy Suites Hotel and several fine dining restaurants.
Meanwhile, in midtown Atlanta, the redevelopment of a 145-acre site (formerly a steel mill) as a community of homes, offices, shops, and hotels connected to surrounding areas by bicycle lanes, walking paths, and public transportation has been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a national model for innovative development that improves air quality. This designation allows developers to build a bridge across I-75/85, connecting midtown to areas west of the Downtown Connector.
Atlanta has long been the center of business activity and development in the Southeast. In October 2004 Cousins Properties Inc. announced leases with three companies to occupy the new building of a 31-story, 500,000 square foot office tower. Construction on a new headquarters building for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to be completed in 2005 with an estimated cost of $81 million for the 12-story, 360,000 square foot facility. In February 2005 CSX Transportation opened its $8 million technology-driven training center to future engineers, conductors, and other technicians.
Economic Development Information: Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, 235 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303; telephone (404)880-9000
An extensive array of air, rail, and truck connections makes Atlanta a city with a robust cargo industry. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the main focus of activity. A Foreign Trade Zone located near the airport at the Atlanta Tradeport provides companies with an opportunity to delay, reduce, or eliminate customs duty on imported items, while the U.S. Customs Service Model Inland Port is a highly computerized center designed to expedite quick clearance for international freight.
The railroad, for so long crucial to Atlanta's well-being, continues to serve the city through two major systems, CSX and Norfolk Southern, which operate more than 100 freight trains in and out of the city daily. In 2003 the Association of American Railroads named Atlanta as its first "Freight Rail Smart Zone" as two million railcars transport vast amounts of consumer goods throughout the region. Several hundred motor freight carriers also offer their services in Atlanta, as do many other carriers that transport only their own products.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Atlanta enjoys an expanding labor pool derived from the surrounding counties and from people coming to the city from other parts of the country and the world. Skilled laborers are more than willing to relocate to Atlanta. Wages have been the fastest-growing in the country; that trend is predicted to continue for the next 20 to 30 years as Atlanta creates more high quality jobs.
According to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2000, between 1998-2025 metropolitan Atlanta is projected to gain 1.8 million net new jobs becoming the new hub for high-tech companies—some call it the "Silicon Valley of the South." Atlanta led the list of "Top 25 Cities for Doing Business in America" by Inc. magazine in March 2004; specifically mentioned was its diverse economic structure.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Atlanta metropolitan area labor force, 2003 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 2,158,600
Number of workers employed in . . .
natural resources and mining: 1,800
trade, transportation and utilities: 492,000
financial activities: 148,000
professional and business services: 337,900
educational and health services: 213,100
leisure and hospitality: 200,700
other services: 94,000
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $13.29
Unemployment rate: 4.2% (December 2004)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|U.S. Postal Service||16,099|
|Emory University (including hospitals)||13,619|
|Cobb County School District||12,372|
|U.S. Army Garrison Headquarters||10,485|
|Home Depot Inc.||9,652|
Cost of Living
Atlanta's cost of living figures, while high for the South, compare favorably with those of other major metropolitan areas in the United States.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Atlanta area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $247,229
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 98.2 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: Ranges from 1.0% to 6.0%
State sales tax rate: 4.0% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: Atlanta metropolitan counties levy taxes up to 3%
Property tax rate: $17.86 (within city) per $1,000 of fair market value) (2003)
Economic Information: Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, 235 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303; telephone (404)880-9000
"Atlanta: Economy." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-economy
"Atlanta: Economy." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-economy
Atlanta: Education and Research
Atlanta: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Atlanta system is located in the city of Atlanta, as well as in unincorporated portions of Fulton and DeKalb Counties. Policies are formed by the nine-member Atlanta Board of Education, all elected positions. The Atlanta schools work closely with parents and local businesses to "stay the course and focus on student success," as Superintendent Beverly L. Hall, Ed.D. explained. Special programs within the Atlanta schools system include Early Childhood Development Centers, three planetariums, two teen parent programs, evening/community high schools and Alternate Schools, programs for exceptional children, exchange student programs, and the Atlanta Area Technical Schools.
Several schools have received state and national awards, including the 2003 National Blue Ribbon Award for Brandon Elementary, and Grove Park Elementary received a 2004 Georgia School of Excellence. In the state of Georgia, any student who graduates from high school with at least a B average is eligible for free college tuition and a $300 per academic book allowance at any of the state's colleges or universities. Those who choose a private college in Georgia get a $3,000 grant. The program is called HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally).
The following is a summary of data regarding Atlanta's public schools as of the 2004–2005 school year.
Total enrollment: 51,000
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 62
middle schools: 16
senior high schools: 10
other: 7 charter and 4 alternate schools
Student/teacher ratio: 14.2:1
Funding per pupil: $10,993 (2002-03)
More than 150 private schools also operate in the Atlanta area, ranging from residential preparatory institutions to church-affiliated programs. A number of private schools offer foreign language curriculums, including several Japanese schools, a German school and the Atlanta International School.
Public Schools Information: Atlanta Public Schools, Administrative Office, 130 Trinity Ave. S.W., Atlanta, GA 30303; telephone (404)802-3500
Colleges and Universities
Metropolitan Atlanta is home to 43 post-secondary institutions, including several of the most prestigious in the United States. They feature more than 300 programs of study and offer a variety of associate and undergraduate degrees, as well as graduate degrees in such fields as medicine, law, and theology. Among the city's principal schools are the 11,300-student body Emory University, nationally recognized for its business and medical research programs; Georgia Institute of Technology, with 16,000 students is famous for its research programs in dozens of different high-technology disciplines; and the Atlanta University Center, the largest assemblage of African American institutions in the world. The center is comprised of five colleges: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College, and the Inter-denominational Theological Seminary (it previously included a sixth member, Morris Brown College, which lost its accreditation in 2002). Other notable facilities in Atlanta include Georgia State University; Mercer University's Cecil B. Day Campus, its Stetson School of Business and Economics, and its Southern School of Pharmacy; Oglethorpe University; and Art Institute of Atlanta. The Atlanta Technical College offers more than 70 programs in a variety of fields including health and human services, information technology, and skilled trades. The metropolitan area also has large public two-year and four-year colleges to serve students, including Clayton College & State University and several schools that offer specialized vocational and religious instruction.
Libraries and Research Centers
In addition to a modern central library located downtown, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library operates 34 branches throughout the city and Fulton and DeKalb counties. The system's holdings include more than 2.1 million books, periodical subscriptions, films, and a large collection of compact discs, records, and audio- and videotapes. The Auburn Avenue Research Library, part of the public library system, is devoted to collecting materials on African American history and culture. Among Atlanta's several outstanding historical research libraries is the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum, dedicated to the former president. The University of Georgia Libraries hold more than 3.5 million books, and Emory University Libraries house more than 2.7 million books, 39,801 periodical subscriptions, 4.5 million microform units, and 15,653 film and video sources. The various campus libraries in Atlanta house special collections of material; many are open to the public for in-house reading and research.
Nearly 150 research centers are based in Atlanta, most of which are affiliated with either the Georgia Institute of Technology or Emory University. The topics under investigation are wide ranging; among them are health care, computers and software, bioengineering, economics, mining, biotechnology, business, women's studies, electronics, energy, pharmacology, cancer, and immunology.
Atlanta boasts four research centers of international renown. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies some of the world's deadliest diseases in maximum security laboratories. The Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center is the oldest continuously operated center for research on the biological and behavioral characteristics of nonhuman primates. Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is one of the country's premier bioengineering programs producing advances in prosthetics and engineered assistance for the disabled. Tech's Medical Informatics Research Group, part of Georgia Institute of Technology, Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center, explores the ways in which computer science methods and techniques can help solve problems in medicine and biomedicine. Affiliated with Emory University and founded in 1982 by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, The Carter Center focuses on global environmental, agricultural, economic, and public health concerns; its Task Force for Child Survival and Development addresses issues of immunization, malnutrition, disease control, and child advocacy.
Public Library Information: Atlanta-Fulton Central Library, 1 Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta, GA 30303; telephone (404)730-1700
"Atlanta: Education and Research." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-education-and-research
"Atlanta: Education and Research." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-education-and-research
ATLANTA. Probably the only major city in the United States named after a hotel—the Atlanta, erected in 1847—after the small town had already gone through two incarnations as Terminus (1837) and Marthasville (1843), Atlanta has never relinquished its unabashed boosterism. In 1860, just two decades beyond its founding, the city already boasted ten thousand residents. Temporarily thwarted by a swath of destruction during the Civil War, the nascent railroad junction quickly rebounded as local newspaperman Henry W. Grady touted the city to any and all comers and, in the process, authored the New South Creed, a wide-ranging blueprint for economic recovery in a region devastated by the Civil War. Whatever the disappointments of these plans for the South as a whole, Atlantans embraced the main chance, and by 1900 rendered their city the primary commercial center of the Southeast and a key distribution point for the rest of the region. By that time an impressive downtown skyline was rising in an area known as Five Points, and Coca-Cola, headquartered in Atlanta, was well on its way to becoming a national drink.
The city's turn-of-the-century prosperity masked racial tensions. In the decades after the Civil War, a prosperous black middle class had evolved, but segregation, disfranchisement, and the surge in lynching during the
1890s threatened its advances. Whites resented black prosperity and success. These tensions culminated in a vicious race riot in 1906. Despite these setbacks, a vibrant black community continued to grow in an area centered around Sweet Auburn, south and west of the city center. Here black businesses and black churches flourished, albeit within the confines of a rigid Jim Crow society. Black leaders such as the educator John Hope, the businessmen Heman Perry and Alonzo Herndon, and, later, the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. emerged from this district. During the 1920s, with city planning in vogue across the nation, zoning and land use policies further divided the city into black and white areas. This was also the decade when Atlanta became national headquarters for a revived Ku Klux Klan.
Atlanta attained more positive national recognition in 1939 when Margaret Mitchell's best-selling novel, Gone with the Wind, was adapted for the screen and the city hosted its world premiere. The movie, along with "the world's largest painting," Cyclorama of the Battle of Atlanta, and the incomplete likenesses of Jefferson Davis, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and Robert E. Lee etched into Stone Mountain fixed Atlanta as a Confederate shrine, a view that seemingly contradicted its New South image but in truth served to mask the more raw forms of boosterism
and racial intolerance. By the 1950s Atlanta was the self-styled "city too busy to hate."
"Busyness" indeed characterized Atlanta during the first half of the twentieth century. By the 1940s the city had surpassed its last major rival, Birmingham, Alabama, most particularly with the growth of what became Harts-field International Airport. Atlanta also evolved into an important center for higher education. Atlanta University (1867) emerged as one of the key institutions of black higher education in the nation; Georgia Tech (1888), Emory University (1836, relocated to Atlanta in 1915), and Georgia State University (1955) offered a variety of educational options for an increasingly cosmopolitan region. The High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony spread a cultural patina over the booster image. It was not until the 1990s, however, that the city enjoyed excellent dining. Atlanta still lags behind Dallas, Miami, and certainly New Orleans in terms of culinary imagination.
The major postwar political change occurred in 1973 with the election of Maynard Jackson, son of a prominent black family, as mayor. Jackson's election reflected the growth of the city's black population, a demographic inevitability because, unlike other southern cities, Atlanta could no longer annex whites who had fled to the suburbs. The last major annexation occurred in 1952 with the addition of predominantly white Buckhead. School desegregation eventually became an unattainable objective; by the 1990s more than 80 percent of the school population was black, and a sharp divide emerged between an increasingly black city and mostly white suburbs, reflecting the intracity divisions that had existed since late in the nineteenth century. Even the extension of the public transport system, known as MARTA, became fraught with racial overtones in the 1990s.
While Atlanta began the twentieth century seeking regional dominance, the effort at the beginning of the twenty-first century focuses on becoming a "world-class city." The "city too busy to hate" has become the rather tepid "The World's Next Great City," a boast given some credibility by its hosting of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. As world headquarters of Cable News Network (CNN), Delta Airlines, and Coca-Cola, Atlanta indeed has a global reach. At the same time many of its problems, including black poverty, traffic gridlock, air pollution, and suburban sprawl, remain intractable as city and suburban leaders find few common areas of cooperation. The city's demographic and economic profile more nearly fits the struggling, declining cities of the Rust Belt rather than the Sun Belt ideal.
Bayor, Ronald H. Race and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Atlanta. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Preston, Howard L. Automobile Age Atlanta: The Making of a Southern Metropolis, 1900–1935. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979.
Russell, James Michael. Atlanta, 1847–1890: City Building in the Old South and the New. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988.
Rutheiser, Charles. Imagineering Atlanta: The Politics of Place in the City of Dreams. London and New York: Verso, 1996.
"Atlanta." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atlanta
"Atlanta." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atlanta
City Develops as Trade Center
Until the early nineteenth century, the site near the Chattahoochee River where Atlanta is located (originally named the Standing Peach Tree for a peach tree on a small hill about seven miles away) was virgin territory sparsely occupied by Creek and Cherokee Native American tribes. The first permanent white settlers arrived during the War of 1812, when Fort Gilmer was built at the Standing Peach Tree. After the war, the land around Fort Gilmer was slowly settled by farmers from northern Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Then, in the late 1830s, the Western & Atlantic Railroad was constructed, connecting the Chattahoochee River with the town of Chattanooga to the north. The area thus became an important trade center, and a village soon developed at the southern end of the railroad. Initially called Terminus (after the word for the engineer's final stake) the village was chartered as Marthasville in 1843, then renamed Atlanta in 1845 and reincorporated in 1847.
By the end of the 1850s, the population of Atlanta had grown to 10,000 people (up from approximately 2,500 people in 1847), and the city had undergone extensive industrial development to become a railway hub, a vital trade link between North and South. Retaining the rough-and-tumble spirit of a frontier town, Atlanta had also progressed as a center of civilization and culture. When the Civil War broke out, Atlanta ceased trade with the North and was established as a Confederate military post. Because of its railroads and factories the city was a prime target, and it was bombarded by Union forces in July 1864.
The Battle of Atlanta was fierce. For a time Southern troops were able to defend the city, but military and civilian casualties from enemy shells and typhoid fever were high. The battle lost, the mayor, James Calhoun, and a few citizens surrendered on September 2, 1864. The fall of Atlanta was catastrophic. All civilians were evacuated, and 90 percent of the structures in the city were destroyed by Union Army General William T. Sherman's troops as they marched toward Georgia's Atlantic coast. Reconstruction began almost immediately after Sherman's army departed. Slowed by smallpox epidemics in 1865 and 1866 that forced the building of a temporary hospital, efforts to rebuild the city were nevertheless successful, and in 1868 Atlanta became the state capital (officially confirmed in 1877).
Atlanta Becomes a Major City
Expansion and growth continued through the nineteenth century and into the early decades of the twentieth, though the city was beset by periodic racial conflict. By 1920 the population of Atlanta had reached 200,000 people. The Great Depression brought more hard times, as it did throughout the country, but the city rose to meet the challenge of World War II. The transportation hub for the Southeast, Atlanta was one of the most important cities in the war effort.
After the war came renewed expansion in manufacturing, as well as a vital role in aviation. Having been a railroad center for most of its history, Atlanta was by the 1950s also the busiest and most important airline center in the South. In recent decades both the economy and cultural life have flourished, with Atlanta emerging as the major city of the "New South." While racial tension has troubled modern Atlanta, citizens have brought about a new spirit of cooperation and teamwork in the political process. Atlantans are optimistic about the future of their metropolis of more than four million inhabitants; a city that enjoys a nearly ideal climate and natural beauty, Atlanta has gained a momentum that promises continued growth and prosperity. Atlanta was the focus of world attention when it hosted the 1996 Centennial Summer Olympic Games. By most media accounts, the city has distinguished itself as world class and an economic leader. City leaders are buoyed by the trend back toward downtown living that has taken place in recent years. Business is thriving as many lucrative business projects are in development.
Atlanta's strength as a business community is reflected with its distinction as Inc. magazine's number one ranked city for doing business in America. Contributing to this is the dramatic growth of the metropolitan area's population between 1990–2000 of 38.9%, many of whom are employed at the wide variety of area corporations including two dozen on the Fortune 1000 list. The local economy is bolstered by the ldquo;the world's busiest passenger airport." of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Consumer goods find easy transport in the highly successful rail system.
Further, the area offers a vibrant arts scene along with beautiful parks and exciting activities. Many tourists are drawn to the historical significance of the area including its Civil War landmarks. This mix of history, tourism, job growth, and business opportunities all lends to the boundless prosperity that the area has enjoyed and its prospects for a bright future.
Historical Information: Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30305-1366; telephone (404)814-4000
"Atlanta: History." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-history
"Atlanta: History." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-history
Atlanta (ətlăn´tə, ăt–), city (1990 pop. 394,017), state capital and seat of Fulton co., NW Ga., on the Chattahoochee R. and Peachtree Creek, near the Appalachian foothills; inc. 1847. It is Georgia's largest city and one of the leading cities of the South.
Economy and Transportation
Manufactures include textiles, furniture, food and beverages, telecommunications hardware, steel, paper, and chemicals. There are automobile and aircraft assembly plants, insurance companies, and printing and publishing houses; and it is a major television broadcasting center. Atlanta is home to numerous corporations, notably Coca-Cola, founded here in 1892. The site of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, Atlanta is also a major convention center with many large hotels. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the busiest in the world, and the city has a modern subway system.
Points of Interest
Notable sites include the capitol (1889), housing the state library; the city hall; the Woodruff Arts Center, home of the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; the Fernbank Museum of Natural History; the state archives building; the building housing the huge Cyclorama of the Battle of Atlanta; Oakland Cemetery, containing Civil War dead; "Underground Atlanta," a four-block tract covered for 50 years by a viaduct system and restored as a tourist district; the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, including King's birthplace and grave as well as Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached; Grant Park, with a zoo and Confederate Fort Walker (restored); and the Georgia Aquarium, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and other attractions clustered around Centennial Olympic Park. The Carter Presidential Center (1986) contains a museum and library dedicated to former President Jimmy Carter as well as a forum (part of Emory Univ.) for the discussion of international issues.
Many departments of the federal government have branches in and near Atlanta, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; also there are Fort McPherson, headquarters of the U.S. 3d Army, and a naval air station. The Atlanta penitentiary (est. 1899) is one of the most widely known U.S. federal prisons. The city's numerous parks are famous for their dogwood blooms. Nearby is Stone Mountain Park, with enormous relief carvings of Confederate figures and a 19th-century plantation, reminiscent of the Atlanta depicted in the film Gone with the Wind (1939). Also in the area are Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (see National Parks and Monuments, table) and Six Flags Over Georgia, a large theme park.
Atlanta is the seat of Emory Univ., Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State Univ., Oglethorpe Univ., the Atlanta School of Art, and Atlanta Univ., with its adjacent and affiliated schools: Clark, Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Spelman colleges. The city is home to the Atlanta Braves (baseball), Falcons (football), and Hawks (basketball).
Hardy Ivy, the first settler, built (1833) a cabin on what had been Creek tribal land. The town, founded (1837) as Terminus, one end of the Western & Atlantic rail line, was incorporated as Marthasville in 1843 and renamed Atlanta in 1845. It became a rail and marketing hub and in the Civil War was a communication and supply center; it fell to Gen. W. T. Sherman on Sept. 2, 1864 (see Atlanta campaign). Most of the city was burned on Nov. 15, before Sherman began his march to the sea. Rapidly rebuilt, it thrived as a commercial and industrial center, and became temporary (1868) and permanent (1877, following a popular vote) capital of Georgia. Conventions and expositions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries drew attention to the city's growth and strategic position. In 1973, Atlanta became the first major Southern city to elect an African American as mayor. By then it was already losing residents to its rapidly expanding suburbs; in the late 1990s the metropolitan area had a population close to 4 million, and "sprawl" had become a major concern.
See T. A. Hartshorn, Atlanta (1976) and H. H. Martin, Atlanta and Environs (1987).
"Atlanta." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta
"Atlanta." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta
Newspapers and Magazines
One major daily newspaper serves Atlantans: the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The major weeklies include The Atlanta Bulletin, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and Mundo Hispanico (a Hispanic-oriented paper published since 1979). Numerous African American-oriented newspapers and magazines are published in Atlanta, including the Atlanta Daily World, Atlanta's oldest continuously published (since 1928) African American newspaper, and The Atlanta Inquirer. About 16 other daily, weekly, and biweekly newspapers are circulated throughout the metropolitan area, most of them focusing on county and community news, consumer affairs, and business topics. Atlanta Magazine and KNOW Atlanta Magazine cover life in the city. Many other monthly magazines based in Atlanta are targeted at specific business, medical, educational, and hobbyist markets.
Television and Radio
Seven television stations, including major network affiliates, one PBS, one commercial, and two independents, broadcast in the Atlanta area; cable service is also available. In the 1970s, Atlanta became a national media force when entrepreneur Ted Turner launched his independent "superstation" WTBS-TV Superstation and the Cable News Network (CNN), viewed by cable television subscribers across the United States. As for radio, 24 stations based in Atlanta offer news, public service programming, and a variety of musical formats to metropolitan listeners.
Media Information: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 72 Marietta St., NW Atlanta, GA 30303; telephone (404) 522-4141; Atlanta Magazine, 260 Peachtree St., Ste. 300, Atlanta, GA 30303; telephone (404)527-5500; fax (404)527-5575
AccessAtlanta (local news, entertainment listings, real estate information, and a section that covers the Atlanta-area technology scene). Available www.accessatlanta.com
Arts in Atlanta. Available www.artsinatlanta.org
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available www.atlanta.com or www.acvb.com
Atlanta Daily World. Available www.AtlantaDailyWorld.com
Atlanta Downtown. Available www.atlantadowntown.com
Atlanta-Fulton County Library System. Available www.af.public.lib.ga.us/library
Atlanta History Center. Available www.atlhist.org
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Available www.ajc.com
The Atlanta Nation (daily internet newspaper). Available www.atlantanation.com
Atlanta Public Schools. Available www.atlanta.k12.ga.us
City of Atlanta home page. Available www.atlantaga.gov
Fulton County home page. Available www.co.fulton.ga.us
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce home page. Available www.metroatlantachamber.com
Allen, Frederick, Atlanta Rising: The Invention of an International City, 1946–1996 (Atlanta: Longstreet Press, 1996)
Craig, Robert M., and Richard Guy Wilson, Atlanta Architecture: Art Deco to Modern Classic, 1929–1959 (Gretna: Pelican, 1995)
Mitchell, Margaret, Gone with the Wind. (New York: Macmillan, 1936)
Willard, Fred, Down on Ponce: A Novel (Atlanta, Ga.: Longstreet Press, 1997)
"Atlanta: Communications." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-communications
"Atlanta: Communications." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-communications
Atlanta: Population Profile
Atlanta: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 38.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 16th
U.S. rank in 1990: 12th
U.S. rank in 2000: 11th
2003 estimate: 423,019
Percent change, 1990–2000: 5.8%
U.S. rank in 1980: 29th
U.S. rank in 1990: 36th (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 48th
Density: 3,161.2 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 255,689
American Indian and Alaska Native: 765
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 173
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 18,720
Percent of residents born in state: 58.5% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 26,666
Population 5 to 9 years old: 27,386
Population 10 to 14 years old: 25,023
Population 15 to 19 years old: 30,048
Population 20 to 24 years old: 39,157
Population 25 to 34 years old: 82,083
Population 35 to 44 years old: 64,632
Population 45 to 54 years old: 50,178
Population 55 to 59 years old: 17,164
Population 60 to 64 years old: 13,602
Population 65 to 74 years old: 20,855
Population 75 to 84 years old: 13,649
Population 85 years and older: 6,031
Median age: 31.9 years
Births (2003, Fulton County)
Total number: 13,013
Deaths (2003, Fulton County)
Total number: 5,917 (of which, 106 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $25,772
Median household income: $34,770
Total households: 168,341
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 28,669
$10,000 to $14,999: 12,267
$15,000 to $24,999: 23,191
$25,000 to $34,999: 20,403
$35,000 to $49,999: 21,704
$50,000 to $74,999: 23,819
$75,000 to $99,999: 12,859
$100,000 to $149,999: 12,398
$150,000 to $199,999: 4,475
$200,000 or more: 8,556
Percent of families below poverty level: 21.3% (56.8% of which were female householder families in poverty)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 49,451
"Atlanta: Population Profile." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-population-profile
"Atlanta: Population Profile." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-population-profile
Approaching the City
Often referred to as Atlanta's number-one economic asset, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been distinguished as "the world's busiest passenger airport." The huge, ultramodern facility, only 10 miles from downtown on 4,700 acres of land, is served by 25 passenger airlines that fly non-stop or one-stop to more than 200 national and international destinations along with 19 cargo airlines. Terminals are connected by an automated underground train system. General aviation facilities in the Atlanta area number 19 (including Hartsfield-Jackson).
Three major interstates—I-75, I-20, and I-85—route traffic into and out of Atlanta, making it one of the leading interstate highways centers in the nation.
Amtrak provides passenger rail service to Atlanta; travelers can go west to New Orleans (via Birmingham, Alabama) or east to Washington, D.C. (via Charlotte, North Carolina). Greyhound has limited service into and out of the city at the Amtrak station.
Traveling in the City
Atlanta can present a challenge to drivers for several reasons. For instance, the city is not laid out in a grid pattern, so there are few rectangular blocks or square intersections. Five main streets converge downtown in an area known as Five Points; these streets roughly divide the city into geographic quadrants (northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest). Further complicating matters is the fact that more than 30 avenues, lanes, drives, and other thoroughfares in Atlanta contain the word "Peachtree," but only Peachtree Street is truly a main road.
Public transportation in Atlanta is operated by the train- and bus-based Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA.
"Atlanta: Transportation." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-transportation
"Atlanta: Transportation." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-transportation
Atlanta: Convention Facilities
Atlanta: Convention Facilities
Easy access to the city, a good public transportation system, an abundance of hotel rooms, and a mild climate have combined to make Atlanta one of the leading convention centers in the United States, by most accounts ranking just behind Chicago and Orlando. Atlanta's major convention facilities are the Georgia World Congress Center, which contains 3.9 million square feet of exhibit space and 76 meeting rooms and is among the 5 largest nationwide; the Georgia Dome, which seats 71,500 and has 102,000 square feet of exhibit space, and the Philips Arena, which offers an 18,000-seat and 17,000 square-foot facility for meetings, athletic events, and concerts. All three facilities are linked by the new Georgia International Plaza, a gathering place featuring fountains and outdoor sculpture. Three buildings that are connected by elevated walkways comprise AmericasMart, which provides 4.2 million square feet of exhibition space. The Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center provides a 5,800 square-foot ballroom and a 4,600-seat theater.
Atlanta also boasts dozens of smaller, more intimate meeting facilities, some of them in unusual settings. Among them are the Woodruff Arts Center, High Museum of Art, Fox Theatre (a renovated "movie palace" built in 1929), Academy of Medicine, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change, Callanwolde (formerly a private residence), and Houston Mill House (a country estate). Other facilities are available at many of the city's hotels.
Visitor Information: Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, 233 Peachtree St., NE, Ste. 100, Atlanta, GA 30303; telephone (404)521-6600; fax (404)577-3293
"Atlanta: Convention Facilities." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-convention-facilities
"Atlanta: Convention Facilities." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-convention-facilities
Atlanta: Geography and Climate
Atlanta: Population Profile
Atlanta: Municipal Government
Atlanta: Education and Research
Atlanta: Health Care
Atlanta: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: circa 1837 (incorporated as Marthasville, 1843; reincorporated 1847)
Head Official: Mayor Shirley Franklin (D) (since 2002)
2003 estimate: 423,019
Percent change, 1990–2000: 5.8%
U.S. rank in 1980: 29th
U.S. rank in 1990: 36th (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 48th
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 38.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 16th
U.S. rank in 1990: 12th
U.S. rank in 2000: 11th
Area: 132 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 1,010 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 64.2° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 50.77 inches
Major Economic Sectors: wholesale and retail trade, services, government
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (December 2004)
Per Capita Income: $25,772 (1999)
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $247,229
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 98.2 (U.S. average = 100.0)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 49,451
Major Colleges and Universities: Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta University Center, Georgia State University
Daily Newspaper: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Atlanta." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta
"Atlanta." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta
Atlanta: Health Care
Atlanta: Health Care
A regional as well as a national leader in the field of health care, the Atlanta metropolitan area is home to more than 50 hospitals supporting 40,000 medical personnel and more than 10,000 beds. Twelve hospitals are located in the city proper. One of the major full-service institutions is Grady Health System, used as a teaching hospital by the medical schools of both Emory University and Morehouse College. Grady has operated a separate, state-of-the-art care facility for HIV and AIDS patients since 1994. In February 2005 it also received a grant to assist the CenterPregnancy program that focuses on prenatal care for immigrants and Spanish-speaking mothers. Emory University Hospital received high scores in 2004 from Best Hospitals, particularly their heart and heart surgery department and geriatrics. Other institutions in the city include Children's HealthCare of Atlanta, Georgia Baptist Healthcare System, Piedmont Hospital, and the 460-bed Atlanta Medical Center. Atlanta also serves as the home of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Public Health Service for the Southeast.
"Atlanta: Health Care." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-health-care
"Atlanta: Health Care." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-health-care
"Atlanta." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta
"Atlanta." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta
Atlanta: Geography and Climate
Atlanta: Geography and Climate
Located in the foothills of the southern Appalachians in the north-central part of the state, Atlanta has a mild climate that rotates through all four seasons. The city's elevation and relative closeness to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean moderate the summer heat; mountains to the north retard the southward movement of polar air masses, thereby providing mild winters. Most precipitation falls in the form of rain, with the heaviest concentration in March. Snowfall is negligible, the yearly average being one-and-one-half inches, though a snowstorm of about four inches occurs about every five years. Tornado activity is also fairly frequent in the area.
Area: 132 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 1,010 feet above sea level
Average Temperatures: January, 40.5° F; July, 79.1° F; annual average, 64.2° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 50.77 inches
"Atlanta: Geography and Climate." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-geography-and-climate
"Atlanta: Geography and Climate." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-geography-and-climate
Georgia's capital and largest city, Atlanta is a major Southern financial and cultural force and the focus of a metropolitan statistical area that covers more than 6,000 square miles and includes more than 110 municipalities. People from all over the country, joined by immigrants from other lands, have flocked to Atlanta's mild climate, physical beauty, and job opportunities. Offering Old South graciousness blended with an ambitious zest for expansion and dominance, Atlanta has assumed an important position in national and international commerce. Ted Turner, one of the city's well-known citizens, has declared that Atlanta has "absolutely everything going for it—climate, location, great transportation, easy air access, and a government that's both cooperative and supportive." This is a judgment widely shared by both residents and visitors.
"Atlanta: Introduction." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-introduction
"Atlanta: Introduction." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-introduction
Atlanta: Municipal Government
Atlanta: Municipal Government
Atlanta, the Fulton County seat, is governed by a mayor and a 16-member city council that is managed by the council president. The mayor is chief executive officer and oversees administration of city government.
Head Official: Mayor Shirley Franklin (D) (since 2002; current term expires 2006)
Total Number of City Employees: 7,500 (2005)
City Information: City of Atlanta, 55 Trinity Ave., Atlanta, GA 30303; telephone (404)330-6000; fax (404)658-7673
"Atlanta: Municipal Government." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-municipal-government
"Atlanta: Municipal Government." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atlanta-municipal-government
"Atlanta." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atlanta
"Atlanta." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atlanta
"Atlanta." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atlanta-0
"Atlanta." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atlanta-0