Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Beltline at Edgewood pt 2

Here are a few more photos taken from the Edgewood Avenue bridge over what will eventually become the BeltLine trail. These are facing north towards Irwin Avenue. The view facing south can be seen in this earlier post.

This section of the Norfolk Southern "Decatur Belt" had been abandoned only a few months before this first photo was taken in November 1995. Kudzu had just begun to creep over the rails. In the photo at right, taken February 2012, the rails have been pulled up, the homeless camp cleared out, and the trees have doubled (or quadrupled) in size.

This field was the site of several warehouses of the abandoned South East Atlantic Cotton Compress complex. The warehouses were destroyed in a spectacular fire on July 3, 1991, reportedly started by fireworks. I could see the fire from Doraville! The remaining buildings are now part of the Studioplex lofts and much of the site is now a parking lot. The building at far left is not part of the complex and is still abandoned. Top photo: November 1995. Bottom: February 2012.

Despite the dramatic changes all around it, this view is nearly unchanged in 17 years. Left: November 1995. Right: February 2012.

Here's a 1972 aerial view of the massive triangular warehouse complex that burned down in 1991. The Edgewood Avenue bridge is at the bottom of the photo.

In the 1892 Birdseye View of Atlanta, this was the site of a railroad maintenance facility including a roundhouse, turntable, coaling tower and associated buildings. Inman Park is at far right and a trolley line is shown on Edgewood (at bottom).

Google map of this spot:

View Larger Map


  1. i love your blog. it's addictive to me. having come of age much later than you, i barely got to see some of the things you've photographed— for example i remember the urban nirvana, but don't remember anything before the georgia dome. the way atlanta has developed is fascinating to me, good in some ways and bad in others. i hope to pursue a career in city planning eventually.

    as for the past, it seems like between the late 60s and the early 90s atlanta had an absolute fit wherein they had to tear down everything that was older, whether it was useful or historic, to "make way for the new". unfortunately a lot of the stuff that was mowed over was integral to atlanta's history and blight was what replaced it, eventually. see south downtown— i'd love to see a before/after down there, there are so many parking lots where i know historic buildings used to stand.

    since the early/mid 2000s i think the change has mostly been positive, with a move back towards historic preservation and citizens fighting for limited development that is suitable to the area— for example, the beltline. i don't think you would've seen something like that being developed in the 80s and 90s unless it was a freeway.

    i eagerly await your posts, and i'd love to see (although i don't know if you have photos) of east atlanta, little five points, south downtown, midtown around 5th street, and the inside of lenox square. i have witnessed a lot of change in these places, so much that it's hard for me to even remember what it looked like. i have a lot of childhood memories in lenox square in the late 80s and early 90s, and they've changed it completely since then.

    thanks a ton!


    1. Thank YOU Daniel! I have very few photos of the areas you mentioned but, as Shannon wrote, the Atlanta Time Machine is your best bet. South of downtown was mostly parking lots even in the 1970s! Other than the Castleberry hill area, there wasn't much there even 20-30 years ago.

  2. Auburn Avenue's diagonal slash up to Irwin makes sense to me now. Thanks yet again.

    1. Yes, Atlanta's awkward street layout makes a lot more sense when you see how it relates to the railroads.

  3. Daniel, you should also look at They have a lot of photos of the areas you are talking about. I love that site and this one and check both daily.