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In Their Own Words

March 11, 1877

Rapid Growth of Atlanta Noted

The following article in the Atlanta Constitution provides a glimpse of the rapid growth downtown Atlanta was experiencing in 1877:

“The main business streets of Atlanta are well built up as a rule. There are long rows of handsome brick stores, three and four stories high, which would be a credit to any city. The main drawback to the appearance of the principle streets has hitherto been the presence of a few of the shabby little stores erected in the hasty poverty of 1865 upon the most valuable property in the city. These are happily fast disappearing before the constant advance of improvements. Last spring the row of shanties next to the railroad on Whitehall Street, were torn down, and in their place we now have the elegant ‘Centennial Building.’ The unsightly old brick building at the corner of Alabama and Pryor streets was removed for the complete ‘Wilson House,’ which now stands there. Similar improvements took place in various parts of the city, and the result is that Atlanta is a much handsomer place than it was one year ago… .

“The old Kile corner, which has so long frowned on Marietta and Peachtree streets is to be greatly improved. the old brick building is now being torn down, and as soon as the rubbish is removed Captain T. G. Healey will commence the erection of handsome three-story brick buildings, which will be quite modern looking, and will command a view of four streets… .

“Numerous other buildings will be erected during the spring, but as very little space remains in the heart of the city, the business streets will have to be extended to give room to our growing trade. Scores of dwellings, some of which are already begun, will be finished during the year.

“It is safe to predict that the building of 1877 will greatly improve the appearance of the city, increase the value of real estate largely, induce many to come and reside in our live city, give employment to hundreds of workmen, and bring many other benefits upon us.”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of 1954 original volume), Vol. I, pp. 936-937.