Inman Park, Atlanta: What It's Like to Live Here
By: Gina Hannah
Atlanta's Inman Park neighborhood has the distinction of being considered they city's first suburb. Nestled between DeKalb Avenue and Freedom Parkway, just east of Old Fourth Ward, this enclave of Victorian-era homes and lush gardens beckons visitors to partake in history tours and residents to put down roots.
Developed in the 1880s from land that had been ravaged by the Civil War, this historic neighborhood was created to be an oasis away from the city by developer Joel Hurt. He based his design on other trolley neighborhoods he had seen across the United States, and named the community after a friend, Samuel Inman. Inman Park was served by a streetcar and was considered the city's most fashionable neighborhood at the time. Prominent residents included Asa Griggs Candler, founder of the Coca Cola Company.
Decades later, the neighborhood suffered decline after many families moved to suburbs farther north and the mansions often were divided into apartments. In 1969, efforts began to revitalize the neighborhood. Many of the homes were torn down as the state department of transportation prepared to construct Interstate 485 through the area, but residents banded together and won a fight against the original route through Inman Park and other neighborhoods.
Today, Inman Park has two historic districts: the Inman Park Historic District and the Inman Park-Moreland Historic District, which was originally Moreland Park, a separate suburb. On the neighborhood's west side, former industrial areas have been converted into mixed-use developments, and the area has a convenient MARTA station.
In addition to the charm and beauty of the neighborhood's homes and gardens, you can find sculpture art throughout Inman Park, from dogs to grasshoppers to dinosaurs.
Children can play in area playgrounds, including Urban Nirvana Playground at Euclid Avenue and Poplar Circle, Springvale Park (also on Euclid) which recently underwent a large renovation including slides and a climbing tower, and Esther Peachy Lefevre Park.
The Inman Park Neighborhood Association, which formed in 1970 to help facilitate revitalizations, remains active to this day. Its activities include security patrol, maintenance and cleanup of the neighborhood and ensuring homes and businesses maintain their historic integrity.
Each spring, the neighborhood association hosts the Inman Park Festival and tour of homes. The two-day event has drawn thousands of people throughout the area since 1971, and it raises money for the association's operations. Activities include a parade, dance festival, musical performances and a market attracting dozens of arts and crafts vendors from around the region.
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