fairlie poplar

Fairlie-Poplar District, Atlanta, GA
by Blackthroated Blue

Great shot taken one block over from where I’m sitting in my office writing this. If you’re trying to place the POV, this is Fairlie Street over by Marietta Street, looking north at the back of the Beaux Arts courthouse and in the distance 191 Peachtree. The building this Deco lamp is set up isn’t actually Deco but a little older than that.

Broad Street, Downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Looking north on the west side of the street. Photo by Wendy Darling.

Broad Street is broad even today, although the actual road is a one-way with parallel parking on one side. The “broad” part is the sidewalks, which include large tree planters. I believe the sidewalks and trees went in 30 yrs. ago or so; prior to that the street was at least two lanes and possibly wider, as there might have been a lane for the trolley. These days the breath of the sidewalks allows for a lot of outdoor dining.

Buildings at Five Points in Atlanta, Georgia, as seen from the 16th floor elevator lobby of the Healey Building. 

Building IDs:

- Bottom left - Muse’s
- Bottom right -: Grant Building
- Center - C&S Bank Building, now bank + GSU biz school
- Upper left - Park Tower
- Upper right - 2 Peachtree

Photo by Wendy Darling

Mixed-use, the organic way

I was looking at that last photo I posted and it occurred to me what a great mix of uses there is in this view of Downtown Atlanta from Forsyth Street.

We’ve got: the residential Healey Building, the 191 & Equitable office towers, the Rialto theater, the court house, the GSU music school and the Ritz hotel — and ground-level retail & restaurants all around the Equitable and Healey buildings.

It’s an exciting mix to live in, particularly since it evolved in such an organic and gradual way over the years.

Reflections in the Equitable Building, Downtown Atlanta

I usually don’t give the Equitable Building much thought when I’m looking around with my photographer’s eye for urban beauty in my Fairlie-Poplar neighborhood. And I don’t think I’m stating anything controversial by calling it a bit bland in design.

But on one sunny day at the end of this summer, I suddenly noticed the way it reflected the other (more attractive) buildings around it. I have a new aesthetic respect for it now.


My favorite neighborhood street

This never fails to cure a bad day: an evening walk on Poplar Street in Downtown Atlanta. The top photo is of the alley outside Sidebar and the bottom photo is the inside of Slice Pizza, which looks out onto the intersection of Fairlie and Poplar.

These two restaurants are open most every night and it’s comforting, while passing by, to peek through the windows and see people sitting at the bar, drinking and chatting — and also to see the warm lights inside and out that contrast nicely with cold winter air. Overhead are apartments with students living inside and all around are offices, which makes the place seem alive with assorted uses.

I walk through this street most every day on my way home and particularly enjoy the narrowness of it — this is a pre-automobile width that lets you immediately know how long the roadway has been around.

It has a classic old-city feel. You can squint your eyes and pretend you’re in NYC or Paris and momentarily forget the car traffic on large multilane roads surrounding the neighborhood. Instead of using the sidewalk, I like to walk right down the middle of Poplar and imagine that this is a shared street, intended for use by pedestrians, cyclists and motorists equally.

Every neighborhood needs a street like this.