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millenium gate...

Sunday, February 5, 2017

.. is actually a museum. A beautiful stone arch in the middle of the Atlantic Station development, housing a history of the state as well as quite a bit of information about the founders, early entrepreneurs of the city. It was like a Cliffs Notes version of Georgia history. Comprehensive, but condensed into a small space, starting with the native peoples who were here before the European invasion.

A good bit of the space inside the arch was devoted to telling the stories of many of the families who were original settlers in the city. People who came in as traveling salesmen, with their goods in wagons, likely bartering and trading more than receiving cash payments. Gradually accumulating financial stability to open shops and stores in small settlements in the area. Becoming the earliest merchants, building homes, growing families and providing all the accompanying establishments needed as their communities grew. Schools, churches, post office, livery, railroads and other industries to meet the needs of the villages as they grew and spread. Interesting note: many of the street and place names date from the earliest European inhabitants who built homes and businesses, where there were fords to cross creeks and rivers: Howell's Mill, Pace's Ferry.

Including, after the devastating fire in the 1860's destroyed stores, factories and warehouses that were  providing supplies for the Army, the Atlanta Foundry. The foundry was rebuilt and expanded to become Atlantic Steel Industries. After the business closed, and the site was sitting unused, it was purchased by a group of investors, who spent millions to clean it up enough to meet federal EPA demands before redevelopment. The area is now the multi-use development of Atlantic Station with hundreds of homes, eateries and retails stores, spread out across the acres where a steel manufacturing business once thrived.

In talking to the guy, Michael, who let us in, we found there is event space available for rent. I think he said he was the business manager, a recent graduate from GA Tech. He would not allow us up in the arch, where the party space is located, due to some (secret) special event prep. going on. This place has been on my bucket list since I first noticed it a couple of years ago. It sits in a beautifully landscaped park in the median, with traffic whizzing around all day and night. Located right in the middle of the street, one of those things you could drive by daily and never really notice: certainly not realizing it houses some fascinating history and family artifacts from centuries past.

A nifty little hidden gem, right there in the middle of the commercial/residential development. Well worth the price of admission. Glad I went, and since I could not take it all in, expect I will go back again.

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