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Old Fourth Ward

Old Fourth Ward Festival Puts History, Fire On Display

May 17, 2017
Courtesy of Fire in the Fourth

Only after escaping their burning home did Mattie Culbreath and her family realize her grandmother was missing.

Find more events in the Atlanta Festivals Guide

Culbreath’s mother frantically called for her mother to get out of the house. The neighborhood’s wooden homes stood close together, and with the house next door caving in flames, not much time remained.

Al Such / WABE

This is not one of those stories about millennials.

Even though people in their 20s and 30s are often credited as the prime movers and shakers in the “hipster-fication” of Atlanta’s east side—the influx of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that have swept in with the advent of the Atlanta Beltline—this story’s about a different demographic.

People like Bob and Bunny Lenhard.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Natatorium
Alison Guillory / WABE

Construction on a new $23 million Martin Luther King, Jr. natatorium north of the King Memorial MARTA station is set to begin later this summer.

City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong promised Tuesday night that it would be completed by 2017.

“What I’m most excited about is the opportunity to have folks of all ages learn how to swim and be comfortable in the water, and still get a very rigorous fitness routine out of the facility,” said Phuong .

Wally Gobetz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/

The Atlanta BeltLine has spurred new developments in the Intown neighborhoods that border it, from Inman Park to Old Fourth Ward. But little of that growth has spread farther north to Ponce De Leon Avenue — until now, that is.

Rosser International Architect and Curbed Atlanta editor Michael Kahn says the street, somewhat neglected in recent decades, is now beginning to show signs of change.

Jeremy Brooks (cropped) / flickr.com/photos/jeremybrooks/

An Ansley Park apartment complex bearing an iconic set of columns is for sale, and now has an interested potential buyer.

Grant Henry owns and operates the colorful Old Fourth Ward bar Church (full name: Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping-Pong Emporium).

Now he has his sights set on transforming the Peachtree Circle Apartment Building -- which sits high on a hill just a couple of blocks from the High Museum of Art in Midtown -- into an upscale boutique hotel, aimed largely at a clientele of visiting movie industry professionals.

Jennifer Wen Ma/Courtesy of Flux Projects

UPDATE: This event has been postponed due to weather.

On Saturday, Flux Night will take over the Old Fourth Ward. It is a massive public art installation put on by Flux Projects, an organization dedicated to art in public spaces. New York-based arts curator Nato Thompson was asked to craft the event this year.

The event, however, took a hiatus in 2014. Executive Director Anne Dennington said that was because Flux Projects needed to reconsider the event.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Natatorium
Alison Guillory / WABE

The Martin Luther King Jr. Natatorium on Boulevard near the King Center has been shuttered for the past three years.

Built in the late 1970s, the indoor swimming pool was closed down in 2012 because of structural problems.

“The structure is actually unsound,” said Atlanta City Councilman Kwanzaa Hall during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

Hall introduced legislation last week to relocate the pool in the Old Fourth Ward to 110 Hilliard Street, onto land donated by the Atlanta Housing Authority.

Trio Laundry building
Evan Jang / WABE

The historic Trio Laundry Building in Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. Landmark district is currently being demolished. Preservationists still hope the building can be saved. 

The gray, two story building standing on Hilliard Street in the Old 4th Ward was built in 1910, survived the fire of 1917, but may not survive through the end of the week.

Monday morning, a demolition crew removed bricks from inside the building and worked on removing the ledge on the roof. The Atlanta Housing Authority purchased the building in 2009; it had been vacant since at least 2007.

Jim Burress / WABE News

On Friday and Saturday, June 21-22, the Atlanta Regional Commission, national experts and local volunteers will create a concept in the Sweet Auburn district known as tactical urbanism.

To learn more about the click on the group's Facebook page