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Woodruff Park Gets Children's Playground

Margaret Mitchell Square gets a facelift, too.

To celebrate the completion of two projects, the restoration of Margaret Mitchell Square and the installation of the new ATL Playground in Woodruff Park, several city leaders, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall and AJ Robinson of Central Atlanta Progress were part of a rededication ceremony Tuesday of Margaret Mitchell Square and a new playground for children at Woodruff Park.

At Margaret Mitchell Square, the city's Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program, in concert with a number of other agencies and Norfolk Southern, oversaw the restoration of its stainless steel sculptures and granite fountains. The plaza honoring the legacy of the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Gone With The Wind is located in the Fairlie-Poplar district at the intersection of Peachtree and Forsyth streets and Carnegie Way.

Originally installed in 1986, the square features sculptures by renowned artist Kit-Yin Snyder, inspired by Southern antebellum architecture. The square is nestled among some of Atlanta’s most historic buildings like the Rhodes-Haverty and Candler buildings. It looks out on the contemporary architecture of the Atlanta Fulton Public Library and Peachtree Center MARTA station. The sleek Georgia Pacific skyscraper across Peachtree Street is on the site of the Loew’s Grand, where the premiere of Gone With The Wind took place.

The square reflects not only Mitchell's keen respect for the past, but modernity and fierce independence.

Woodruff Park hosted an unveiling event to showcase its newly installed ATL Playground. Jeff Santos of British Columbia designed the original concept of the playground, after being named winner of the 2010 Playable 10 Contest held in partnership with Bank of America, Georgia Tech, Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Taskforce of Play. Minnesota-based Landscape Structures engineered and constructed the playground.

“Landscape Structures is dedicated to creating innovative play areas,” said LSI president Pat Faust. “The playground is a work of art, but it gives children infinite ways to interact with the sculpture.”

Shaped with Atlanta in mind, the playground’s design mimics the letters “ATL,” and features climbing walls, monkey bars and two slides. The playground’s installation is a part of the larger Woodruff Park Master Plan, which is a detailed vision of Downtown’s most distinctive green space.

“Great cities have great public spaces,” said George Dusenbury, commissioner of the Department of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs. “Margaret Mitchell Square and the ATL play sculpture will provide exceptional downtown experiences for residents and visitors alike.”

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