Vintage ATL: 1989-1995

As an Atlanta native growing up in the 70s and 80s, I was fascinated by downtown and the desolate miles of rundown buildings and abandoned industrial areas that surrounded it. I was attracted to the out-of-the-way parts of town: the old, the unusual, the industrial, the artsy.

By 1989, after 2 decades of mass exodus to the suburbs, Atlanta had lost over 100,000 residents, more than one fifth of its population. Much of downtown, midtown, and the area west of the downtown connector resembled a giant ghost town, full of abandoned buildings, vacant lots, crumbling bridges and rusty water towers. It was the land that time forgot and I loved it.

1989 was also the year that Atlanta was bidding to host the '96 Olympics and there seemed to be a mad rush to "clean up" the city by demolishing anything that didn't fit the "image". The Francis Hotel and Pershing Point were already gone and there were many more great places in the way of progress. So, from 1989 through 1995 I roamed and explored the so-called "eyesores" of Atlanta, seldom encountering another person while shooting hours of Super8 movies and taking hundreds of photos with my battered 35mm camera.

I plan to revisit all of these places in the near future and will post now / then and related vintage photos at Return to Atlanta.

If you like this sort of thing, you might also enjoy my set of vintage Atlanta postcards too.
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