Friday, April 10, 2009

Underground Atlanta

In the 1970s, Underground Atlanta was THE place to be - lots of different nightclubs and restaurants. I remember getting so jealous of my older brother who would go to Underground Atlanta and come home with these cool hurricane glasses from the various nightclubs.

In the mid 1830, a railroad line was built from Atlanta to Chattanooga, TN. The zero mile post, which is still there was in the location where Underground Atlanta now resides. Between 1866 - 1920, Atlanta grew very quickly (recovering from the war) and of course railroad transportation was viable to the city's growth.

During the 1920's, construction of the viaducts elevated the street up one level - merchants moved up to the 2nd level - the old storefronts were left underneath and used mostly for storage - thereby leaving the older part of Atlanta underground.

Atlanta continued to grow into a busy city above the viaducts and the old storefronts underground near mile marker zero sat quite and lonely until 1968, when the Atlanta Board of Alderman declared this area a historic site. In 1969, Underground was re-opened as retail and entertainment center.

Crime and slowing business, in addition to the subway system, MARTA being built, caused Underground to close around 1980. This left many Atlantans quite sad, but fortuntely in 1989, after $142 million restoration, it re-opened. Although the nightlife is not the same now as it was in the 1970s (but what place is?), Underground is still quite a popular place! There are very unique stores & restaurants.

Also, this is where the annual "Peach Drop" (Atlanta's solution to New Year's Eve Times Square) takes place and has millions of attendees each year !

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