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Plenty of "New" in Old Fourth Ward

All around the historic intown neighborhood are signs of change, which will be showcased in upcoming lantern parade, fall festival.

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.

The park links to the BeltLine's Eastside Trail, which officially opens Oct. 15.  Just off the trail is North American Properties' planned .

To the north of the park, is the , the massive redevelopment of the old City Hall East building.

To the west, apartment complex. Further west is Boulevard, which is the center of an economic and social development focus from several fronts, under the 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 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.

The 2-mile-long parade, which features the Krewe of Grateful Gluttons and threads from Inman Park to Midtown, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Lake Avenue and Irwin Street with a tailgate party.

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.

Greengirl September 08, 2012 at 07:48 PM
This is an amazing park with a terrific playground, including a "sprayground" with fountains for the kiddes. If you haven't been, go check it out!
FamilyOfFour September 09, 2012 at 02:18 AM
I am one of the lucky people who just moved to downtown atlanta and live right on the beltline. I am a 10 min walk with my boys to this fantastic park. Thank you so much!
FamilyOfFour September 09, 2012 at 02:21 AM
This whole area Inman Park, Old 4th Ward, Candler Park, Lake Claire is a really cool and amazing place to raise our family. We can now walk from Lake/Irwin right to Piedmont Park. Passing the Skate Park, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Home Depot and countless local restaurants on the way. I walk it daily and everyone is so friendly and happy walking on the new beltline. :)
Kit Sutherland September 13, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Kudos to Peralte Paul for helping let folks know about the Old Fourth Ward. To cover events and issues in the O4W on an ongoing basis, please be sure to check out the Facebook pages for the Fourth Ward Alliance and the Historic Fourth Ward Park Conservancy. The FWA neighborhood association meets every month on the second Thursday of the month, at 6:30 PM at the AMLI Old Fourth Ward apartments (525 Glen Iris Drive NE). So, we have a meeting tomorrow night (September 13th), with beer and food from Two Urban Licks -- hope to see some new folks there. Ms. Kit Sutherland / President, Fourth Ward Alliance Neighborhood Association

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