One of the largest cemeteries in Atlanta, the Oakland Cemetery is located in the heart of downtown. This bucolic expanse serves as a constant reminder of the city's history. Dating back to the 1850s, the cemetery was the final destination for all Atlantans until 1884, when private burial grounds began appearing throughout the city. The oldest section is near the main entrance, where legendary golfer Bobby Jones and author Margaret Mitchell are interred. This expansive 48-acre (190,000-sq meter) beautiful garden now houses sculptures, an art gallery, a green space and serves as a prominent wedding venue for the city.
A few blocks to the east of downtown, the Sweet Auburn neighborhood is home to the birthplace of America's most influential Civil Rights leader. Operated by the National Park Service, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park comprises Dr. King's boyhood home, his tomb and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King and his father were both pastors. The park, along with much of the surrounding district, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. This collection of historic monuments invokes poignant memories of Martin Luther King Jr., and the indelible mark that he has left on the American Civil Rights Movement. Visitors will also find other fascinating monuments here such as the King Center, the Prince Hall and a statue of the world-revered Mahatma Gandhi. The Visitor Center of the site shelters an insightful museum, which sheds light on the legacy of Dr. King.
Atlanta History Center is a great spot for history buffs. This comprehensive museum complex was founded in 1926 and chronicles the region's history which includes sections on the Civil War, Civil Rights movement, Southern folk crafts, Atlanta's expansion and much more. Spread across 33 acres (13.5 hectares), it consists of the Atlanta History Museum, Swan House, Tullie Smith Farm (Smith Family Farm), Margaret Mitchell House, Lee Playhouse, Victorian Playhouse, McElreath Hall, Kenan Research Center and nine beautiful gardens. It has various programs, festivals and events going on throughout the year. Considered to be among the biggest history museums in the country, each space is unique and distinct, giving a glimpse of an era bygone and stories to enthrall everyone. The Margaret Mitchell House is a hub for authors and amateur writers as it hosts yearly creative writing programs to keep the legacy of the celebrated writer, whose novel Gone with the Wind, is among the popular books of all time.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the largest spectacles of plant life in the Southeast. Sprawling over 15 acres (six hectares), this natural oasis was established in 1976 and is located within stumbling distance of the famous Piedmont Park. It is home to the Fuqua Conservatory and Japanese gardens, both rich in globe-spanning flora. Follow a walking trail, which is a favorite of couples, and admire exotic rose plantations and carnivorous specimens. In addition, guided tours and seasonal shows guarantee an entertaining botany lesson.
The most expansive and popular of Atlanta's city parks was originally laid out for the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, and it now attracts more than 2 million visitors annually. Dog owners, sun-seekers and sports enthusiasts flock to the Piedmont Park to enjoy the fair weather, largely unaware that this was the spot of the Battle of Peachtree Creek during the Civil War. Its picturesque locales also offer a romantic ambience. The 189-acre (76.48-hectare) facility is home to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and scenic Lake Clara Meer, and plays host to many of Atlanta's favorite concerts and festivals.
It is hard to miss this ultra-modern, stark white structure that houses Atlanta's finest collections of classic and contemporary art. A towering atrium soars to four interior levels, with the galleries moving from 18th and 19th Century collections near the ground floor to cutting edge art on the upper levels. The High has increased in size to 312,000 square feet (2972.89 square meters) with three buildings designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano: the Susan and John Wieland Pavilion, the Anne Cox Chambers Wing for galleries, and an office building. The High is a frequent host to some of the world's most important touring collections and has hosted exhibitions featuring artists like Pablo Picasso and Norman Rockwell. With over 18000 works in the permanent collection, the High also displays old prints of Abe Lincoln and of General William Tecumseh Sherman and an array of sculptures and photographs.
Commissioned in 1932 by Albert E. Thornton, The Ten Park Place Building was built on land that had been in the family since the Thorntons helped settle the city several generations earlier. Also known as The Thornton Building, this progressive structure was designed by Anthony Eyck Brown and is a rare local example of the Modernist style. The limestone exterior features fluted columns and elaborately adorned entablatures facing the street, while the marble and brass lobby is highlighted by an ornate elevator bay.
Spread over 6 acres of lush greenery, the Woodruff Park enjoys a splendid location in the heart of the student, financial and nightlife districts. Atlanta's green lung in every way, this park is equipped with fountains, water-coolers, shaded areas, sculptures, bandstands and pruned lawns so that students, office-goers and tourists can seek respite for a while. Cultural and community events are a regular occurrence too.
A vibrant capital with a rich history, Atlanta is Georgia's most populous city. Downtown is home to big businesses as well as restaurants and attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, Fox Theater, and ATLwood , Atlanta's booming movie and theater district. Entrenched in African American history and the epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta is where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic speech. With all the energy of a booming metropolis, Atlanta still retains its southern charm, tucked away in its quieter neighborhoods, and invites travelers to discover for themselves its warmth and friendly spirit.
Completed toward the end of Atlanta's first high-rise era, this building opened to the public in 1914. Rising 14 floors, The Healey Building was not completely finished, as a second tower had been put on hold because of the outbreak of World War I. When owner William Healey died shortly after the war, plans for the second tower were abandoned. Nonetheless, the single-towered stone and terracotta structure was a marvel of modern achievement and stood as a commanding landmark until the dawn of the skyscraper era. While visiting Atlanta's Downtown neighborhood, catch a glimpse of Healey Condominiums' beautiful facade.
Renowned local architect Neil Reid designed this Beaux-Arts classic in 1920 for the Hass-Howell Insurance Company. Although understated compared to the gaudy design often featured in this style, the ashlar stone building features an enormous, elaborately carved arched doorway that faces the more detailed U.S. Customs Building across the street. A floor of the Haas-Howell Building houses administrative offices of the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts.
Built in 1906 by Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler, this 17 story masterpiece is a prominent fixture on the Atlanta skyline. The elaborate detail on the white marble facade is a fine example of the style of the period, when functional buildings were designed as much for their aesthetic appeal as for their practicality. The tons of structural steel and iron used in construction is said to be twice the amount used in any other building in the Southeast. Today, the building houses private offices. The Atlanta Preservation Center's walking tours of the neighborhood include The Candler Building.