To stand in Historic Fourth Ward Park, is to get a 360-degree view of a tilt-a-whirl of change.
The 17.6-acre park itself, roughly bounded by North Avenue, Freedom Parkway and Glen Iris Drive, is part of the Atlanta BeltLine Project, the planned 22-mile necklace of parks, trails and transit around the city.
To the north of the park, is the $180 million Ponce City Market project, the massive redevelopment of the old City Hall East building.
To the west, AMLI Residential's 337-unit apartment complex. Further west is Boulevard, which is the center of an economic and social development focus from several fronts, under the Year of Boulevard initiative.
The neighborhood, which traces its earliest roots to the end of the Civil War, is actually a combination of four smaller communities that formed when the city was under ward system of governance.
Of course, the Old Fourth Ward plays a role in the nation's social history with 501 Auburn Ave. serving as the birth home of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.
The Ebenezer Baptist Church in the neighboring Sweet Auburn district, where King was baptized and served as co-pastor, is one of the most prominent and storied houses of religous worship in the country. The district also includes the King Center, established in 1968 to further the pursuit of non-violent social change in his memory.
Amidst the tapestry of old and new, the Old Fourth Ward is enjoying a an economic and social renaissance.
That mix of old-timers and newcomers alike, creates a mélange of residents with a diversity of talents and perspectives that enrich the neighborhood, says Pamela Moss, president of the 4th & S.A.N.D. — Fourth Ward and Sweet Auburn Neighborhood District — community association.
Residents and visitors will get a chance to see some of the neighborhood's rebirth on Sept. 8 with a free Art on the BeltLine lantern parade.
It is designed to showcase the Eastside Trail.
The following weekend brings the Fall in the Old Fourth Ward Festival. The weekend brings the popular scavenger hunt on Sept. 15, the Old Fourth Ward Challenge and the Old Fourth Ward Tour of Homes on Sept. 16.