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The Midtown skyline as viewed from I-75 South.
A portion of the Midtown Atlanta Skyline viewed from Oak Hill in Piedmont Park.

Midtown Atlanta is the second largest financial district in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, situated between the commercial and financial district of Downtown to the south and the affluent residential and commercial district of Buckhead to the north. Midtown contains about one-third of the city's high-rises and some of Atlanta's most iconic buildings, such as the Bank of America Plaza, (situated between Midtown and Downtown), AT&T Midtown Center, Atlantic Center, 1180 Peachtree, and Promenade II. The district is the epicenter of the city's music and artistic scene that includes the Fox Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the 14th Street Playhouse.

As defined by the Midtown Alliance organization, the area measures approximately four square miles and has a resident population of 30,000.[1] The area also has a workplace population of 68,000, along with 20,000 students and approximately 6 million visitors annually. The official boundaries of the district are the Beltline just east of Monroe Drive on the east, I-85 and I-75 to the north, Howell Mill Road on the west and Ralph McGill Boulevard on the south. This definition of Midtown Atlanta includes upscale neighborhoods such as Ansley Park and Atlantic Station, as well as the neighborhoods of Home Park and Sherwood Forest.

The Midtown district has been a primary area of growth in the city with new condominium units being built, new stores opening up, and businesses and people moving into the area.

Midtown Atlanta is also home to two well known institutions of higher education: Georgia Institute of Technology and the Atlanta division of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD.)

Contents

Geography

Midtown is composed of busy thoroughfares, including Atlanta's famous Peachtree Street, lined by high-rise condos and four-star hotels alongside skyscrapers housing Class A office space and busy shopping areas. It is also home to quiet residential neighborhoods populated by Victorian, American Four-Square and American Craftsman homes, as well as bed-and-breakfast inns. Midtown's focal point is the expansive green space of Piedmont Park. The Atlanta Botanical Garden adjoins the Park.

Midtown is also home to the largest concentration of LGBT residents in the city, and (with Ansley Park and Kirkwood) one of the largest in the country. Many residents refer to Midtown as Atlanta's number one gay village.

Atlanta has its own multicultural flavor in its variety of restaurants, most of which are situated on Peachtree Street and spread out in a fashion characteristic of the rest of the city. On Juniper Street north of Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta boasts its own signature "restaurant row" district, with upscale gathering places and bustling nightclubs.

History

The southern half of midtown between 8th Street and North Ave was originally purchased by Richard Peters in 1848 to use the pine forest there for fuel for his downtown flour mill. Over the next 40 years Peters slowly subdivided sections of these land lots off for a gridded residential area and built his own home there on Peachtree at 4th Street. His son, Edward, built his home on the block bounded by North Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, Ponce de Leon Avenue and Myrtle Street. The home, now called Ivy Hall, was restored by the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2008 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Today

Homes in Midtown Atlanta
Outwrite, a Gay/Lesbian Bookstore in Midtown.

Midtown Atlanta has in the past decade been a fast-growing community with appreciating land and property values, as land is a precious commodity in this urban area. As residents begin to return to the city following decades of suburban retreat from the city center, Midtown Atlanta offers an attractive mix of amenities and attractions, as well as proximity to downtown offices and destinations. The recent construction and opening of the Seventeenth Street Bridge over the Downtown Connector has reconnected Midtown with the west-side of the city. It connects Midtown to a new multi-billion dollar mixed-use development, called Atlantic Station, on the former site of the Atlantic Steel company, which is the site of new housing, office, and retail space. In early 2006, Mayor Shirley Franklin set in motion a plan to make the 14-block stretch of Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta (nicknamed "Midtown Mile") a street-level shopping destination envisioned to rival Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive or Chicago's Magnificent Mile.[2][3] It has brought a number of stores along the stretch, such as the upscale Kartell. Restaurants such as Yogen Früz, Piola, Ri Ra Irish Pub, RA Sushi, and Pinkberry all have plans to have locations in Midtown. [4] Apple has also expressed interest in building a flagship store along the Midtown Mile development.[5]

In addition to the Midtown Mile, Midtown Atlanta has recently seen a hotel boom. With the influx of wealth moving to the area, many luxury hotels had proposed and/or started construction of the hotel. Some of the hotels that are building or have plans to do so in Midtown Atlanta include the Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental, Hotel Monaco, and Loews Hotels. The Four Seasons Hotel, the W Hotel, and Hotel Palomar already have Midtown locations.

Midtown Alliance

Formed in 1978, the Midtown Alliance is a group of volunteers, employees, and business and community members, that work towards improving the overall quality of life in Midtown, transforming it into an ideal place for people to actively live, work, and play. Activities of the Alliance include improving the neighborhood safety, developing area arts and education programs, and building community leaders. The master plan from the Alliance, called Blueprint Midtown, is credited with fueling the economic resurgence that has helped the once downtrodden Midtown area transform over the past number of years into a popular neighborhood[6].

Economy

Invesco Headquarters on Peachtree Street.

Midtown Atlanta is a commercial district in its own right, containing 22 million square feet of office space[1], with 8.2 million square feet of office space added to the area since 1997, with up to 3.8 million square feet more planned.[7] Furthermore, Midtown is the home to the corporate headquarters such as Equifax[8], EarthLink[9], Invesco[10], and The Coca-Cola Company[11], as well as other corporations with a sizeable presence such as Norfolk Southern, Wachovia, PriceWaterhouseCoopers[12], and AT&T, as a result of its purchase of BellSouth.[13] Google's Atlanta area office is in Midtown.[14]

Major law firms such as King & Spalding[15] and Kilpatrick & Stockton[16] are also located in this district.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, once located at 104 Marietta Street NW prior to 2001, is located at 1000 Peachtree Street NE.[17]

Diplomatic missions

The Consulate-General of Canada is located in the 100 Colony Square Building [18] as is the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency [19]. The Consulate-General of Israel to the Southeast is located in Uptown.[20] The Consulate-General of Switzerland in Atlanta is located in the Two Midtown Plaza building.[21] The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, representing the Republic of China, is located in the Atlantic Center Plaza.[22]

Culture

Arts

The Woodruff Arts Center

Midtown is known by many residents as the "Heart of the Arts". It is the home of the Fox Theatre, the Woodruff Arts Center, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Richard Meier and Renzo Piano -designed High Museum of Art, as well as the Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and other arts and entertainment venues. Recently, the Woodruff Arts Center and its campus have been expanded. Future additions will include a new Atlanta Symphony Center designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The High is currently collaborating with the Louvre to house a temporary collection of masterpieces from the Paris museum. As well as being a major arts and entertainment enclave, Midtown Atlanta is home to a vibrant cultural community, bringing together people from every walk of life. The district hosts the Atlanta Dogwood Festival in the spring along with the Atlanta Pride and the finish line of the Peachtree Road Race in the summer. History enthusiasts can tour the Margaret Mitchell House and Rhodes Hall, both of which can be rented for corporate or social events, as well.

Nightlife

Midtown is known throughout Atlanta as an extremely popular, cosmopolitan, and vibrant area for nightlife. Many of the city's trendy restaurants and bars are located in Midtown. An estimated 52% of all of the city's nightclubs are located in Midtown. Some of the prominent bars and clubs include CosmoLava (Cosmopolitan Lounge and Lava), Opera, Primal, Leopard Lounge, Door 44, Verve Lounge, Twisted Taco, The Phoenix, Halo, Fox and Hound, Highland & Co. and many others.

Education

Residents are zoned to schools in the Atlanta Public Schools.

In addition, the main campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology is located in the southwest corner of the district.

Transportation

Midtown Atlanta is served by Atlanta's rail rapid transit system, MARTA, at the Civic Center, North Avenue, Midtown, and Arts Center MARTA Stations. MARTA operates significant bus service in the district, as well. [23] There is also a free shuttle between the Arts Center MARTA Station and Atlantic Station, as well as a free-to-the-public daytime shuttle between the Midtown MARTA station and Georgia Tech called the "Tech Trolley."[24]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Midtown Alliance, Midtown Market Report, 2007. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
  2. ^ "Expert: Peachtree Poised to Be Next Great Shopping Street". Midtown Alliance. http://www.midtownalliance.org/RET_Vision.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-26.  
  3. ^ "Mayor to Retailers: Peachtree Is Open for Business". Midtown Alliance. http://www.midtownalliance.org/RET_ICSC.html. Retrieved 2007-06-26.  
  4. ^ My Urban City, 1010 Midtown Secures Unique International Restaurant Tenants, July 17, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  5. ^ Apple Store Ifo, April 2, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  6. ^ "Business Coalition wants new master plan for Ga. 400". Atlanta Journal Constitution. 2007-12-12. http://www.ajc.com/cobb/content/metro/northfulton/stories/2007/12/12/blueprints_1213_web.html. Retrieved 2007-12-12.  
  7. ^ MIDTOWN ATLANTA: Business. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
  8. ^ Equifax Company Profile. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  9. ^ EarthLink Contact Us. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  10. ^ Invesco, Corporate Headquarters. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
  11. ^ Coca-Cola United States. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  12. ^ Locations. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  13. ^ AT&T, BellSouth Deal to Affect Atlanta Office Market. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  14. ^ "Google Offices." Google. Retrieved on July 12, 2009.
  15. ^ King & Spalding - Offices: Overview. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  16. ^ Kilpatrick Stockton LLP: Atlanta. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  17. ^ Atlanta Visitors Center and Monetary Museum. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  18. ^ "Contact Us." Consulate-General of Canada in AtlantaRetrieved on July 28, 2009.
  19. ^ "Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency website Retrieved on August 24, 2009."
  20. ^ "Welcome to the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast." Israel Diplomatic Network. Retrieved on July 28, 2009.
  21. ^ "Consulate General Atlanta." Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved on July 28, 2009.
  22. ^ "How to contact TECO in Atlanta." Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Atlanta. Retrieved on July 28, 2009.
  23. ^ "Official MARTA website". http://www.itsmarta.com. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  24. ^ "Tech Trolley". GT Parking & Transportation. http://www.parking.gatech.edu/info/1_maps__schedules/6_tech_trolley_route.php. Retrieved 2007-08-01.  

External links

Midtown Skyline viewed from Atlantic Station.

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