Warm Weather Beltline

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 20, 2010

There was sunny weather for the beltline walk Saturday February 20. After a few weeks of cold and snow, the warmer temperatures were appreciated. Jackets stayed in cars, and sun protection was in force. PG suspects his neck got a bit redder.

The journey started on Monroe, across from Piedmont Park. The Virginia Avenue bridge served as an acoustic arena, for the inevitable announcements. There were piles of railroad ties in abundance, which served as impromptu platforms. Today’s walk was themed for Art on the Beltway. There are plans for static images, as well as performance spaces for the old rail corridor.

PG had done this walk in November, before the majority of the rail ties had been taken up. The walk was a bit smoother then, but taking up the ties is an important step in building a path. The famed magnolia tree at Ponce de Leon Park was still there, as was the notorious bridge over Ponce.
Before getting to Ponce, the beltline goes in back of the shopping center, across from Grady Stadium. There are some great views of Midtown hi rises there, with a foreground of rooftop air conditioning units. Behind the center were a few overgrown weed trees, with a bible resting on a tree stump. It was opened to 2 Chronicles 6:9.
PG wondered how many in the crowd today was around when Richards was in the shopping center space. Richards was in a rambling nightclub building, which had been open under several names before Rock and Roll arrived in 1973. When Richards closed ( after selling tickets to see BB King on New Years Eve, only to greet ticket holders with locked doors) the building was going to open as the Cabaret After Dark. A competing clubowner (allegedly) set fire to the building the night before it opened. The shopping center followed a few years later.

On the other side of North Avenue, Midtown gives way to the Old Fourth Ward. A 14 acre park is under construction between North Avenue and Ralph McGill Boulevard. A designer ( who is not from the south) climbed on some railroad ties to give a talk about the park.

Continuing south, there is a skater park, which was in use today. A skater waved at PG, only using one finger. The Freedom Parkway was next, with a collection of graffiti that changes every time it is seen. The original plan was to stop at a restaurant near there, but there was a live band and a crowd of people. The porto potties were available, though, which was a welcome facility for some of the hikers.

Moving down, past the end of Auburn Avenue, the walk went under the bridge at Edgewood. Railroad riders had been camping under the bridge in November, but were no where to be seen today. Soon, the walk moved onto the sidewalks of Dekalb Avenue, through the Krog tunnel and past Cabbagetown. The last part of the hike was over rail ties, not yet removed. This was the part between Wylie Street and Memorial Drive. It came out by an old rail depot, now a failed restaurant site. There were cars waiting there to take people back to the start of the trail.
Color pictures are by PG. B&W pictures are from ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

2 Responses

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  1. Denny said, on February 21, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Great stuff Cam!
    Looks like a great walk on a great Spring-ish day.
    One week after our snow, yet!
    Thanks for sharing your photos and local knowledge too!

  2. The Angel Story | Chamblee54 said, on July 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    […] covering the complete loop around the city core. (071109, 073109, 111109, 112509, 012310, 022010, 112810, 120210) The spell check suggestion for beltline is beeline. While listening to the […]

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