November 1977 – From the original caption “University of Georgia, Bulldog Mascot with his snout on a Gatorade Bottle. November 1977." 

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Credit: Allan Walker / Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive

#FlashbackFriday Flashback Fotos: Stone Mountain through the years

Stone Mountain has been part of Atlanta’s recreational scene through the decades. Atlanta Journal staff photographer Walter F. Winn captured this whimsical photo of a motorcyclist zipping up the side of the mountain. The man “never paused until he slithered to the summit,” Winn wrote in the original photo caption.

Will fear of road congestion scuttle BRT in Cobb County?

Thanks much to CCT Girl for sharing this graphic on Twitter. It comes from a news article about Cobb County’s proposed bus rapid transit line (behind a paywall: It would connect Kennesaw State University with Midtown Atlanta and all points in between on that line – including the new Braves stadium.

According to the news article, a study has found that the BRT line likely won’t reduce car congestion on Hwy 41 in Cobb, and may even make it worse. But does this mean the doom of the route? Not necessarily. As the quote below shows, there are people in Cobb who understand the focus of a transit line like this is more than mobility. It’s also about efforts to point future growth in a particular direction.

David Welden, a campaign manager for former commissioner Helen Goreham who has served on several citizen committees studying transportation projects, said BRT has never been about thinning traffic.

“It’s about commercial development,” said Welden, who thinks the reversible toll lanes currently under construction on I-75 will do more to mitigate traffic on U.S. 41 than BRT. “Where there’s a little Army-Navy store right now will be a 17-story office tower, or a live-work-play development.

Something important to note here: when it comes to dealing with car congestion, even building new lanes and new roads doesn’t help – they only induce demand for driving over time, particularly in a growing region. Congestion comes with the territory in an expanding population. The key is in allowing for mobility options that diminish the damage done by inevitable traffic, and a big part of that is reshaping the way we build places to allow for those options. 

Feeder lanes & receiver roads; but what about places? Words matter

Look at that last phrase in the text at the top of the graphic; it says something about the way land use and transportation are treated in areas like Cobb that are beset with sprawl. It refers to “roadway improvements” such as “extended feeder lanes on receiver roads.” This is the kind language I encountered when I attended a GA Department of Transportation meeting about the 400/I-285 interchange project. It’s a type of transportation-engineering speak that has a logical place inside the offices of those engineers. But when it makes it’s way into the public, it sounds dehumanizing.

Feeders? Receivers? The roadways listed on the BRT route are not interstate highways will walls beside them. These are places for people. But to me, it sounds like these places are being designed for vehicles – much more so than for pedestrians and the places that they inhabit outside of those vehicles. If we’re going to talk about using transportation to help shape the future forms of our urban places, then we need better language for that effort. We need words that encompass the full range of uses of roadways like these, with references to improvements that affect pedestrians and the places that they inhabit.

Caveat: having said all of this,  I’m not fully advocating this particular BRT plan. Unless it is accompanied by other growth in the Cobb County CCT transit system, plus bike lanes, plus rezoning of properties, plus master planning – there’s no guarantee that a single transit line like this, along a very car-centric corridor such as Hwy 41, will result in good urbanism. It’s possible that it could be a step in the right direction at least, but I can’t help but pessimistically wonder, given Cobb’s history, if those other important steps would truly follow.

Sweet victory

Oct. 3, 1997 – John Smoltz and Chipper Jones, right, talk with the media after their victory over Houston in the Division Series in Houston. 

Click here to see more vintage Braves photos from postseasons past. For complete Atlanta Braves coverage, visit

Photo credit: Marlene Karas / AJC file

#TBT | Atlanta Stadium: Hosted Beatles, home to Braves

Opened 1965, demolished 1997 – Completed in 1965, Atlanta’s first major sports arena hosted a number of notable events over its 31-year lifespan. The Beatles played the place, as did the Atlanta Crackers, who closed out their final season in the new ballpark. Home to three of Atlanta’s professional sports teams (the Braves, who relocated from Milwaukee; the Falcons and the soccer Chiefs), Atlanta Stadium saw Braves slugger Hank Aaron become MLB’s all-time career home run leader when he hit his 715th homer on April 8, 1974. The World Series came to the stadium in 1991, 1992, 1995 and 1996, with the Braves winning the 1995 World Series to notch their first championship in Atlanta in front of the hometown fans. After hosting baseball during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the stadium – called Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium since 1976 – was demolished in 1997 to make way for the new home of the Braves, Turner Field, located just across the street. The old stadium site is now a parking lot for Turner Field, with the old outfield wall and spot where Aaron’s historic homer landed marked for fans to visit.

#TBT Terminal Station: Atlanta’s railway palace

Opened 1905; rebuilt 1947, demolished 1972 – By the time of its 1970 closing, Terminal Station had witnessed Atlanta change from a premier Southern railway hub in the early 20th century to a modern transportation mecca for air and interstate highway travel. The station, designed by architect P. Thornton Marye (Atlanta’s Fox Theater and Capital City Club), exuded a grandiosity that was meant to impress rail travelers on their way south for business or pleasure. In the 1920s, the Atlanta Convention Bureau claimed that Terminal Station was served by 86 trains per day. When the Southern Railway moved its Atlanta stop to Brookwood Station in 1970 (now Atlanta’s Amtrak station), Terminal Station was shuttered permanently. One old platform along downtown Atlanta’s “Gulch” area is all that remains of the station.

#TBT Ponce de Leon Park: Mind the magnolia, you Crackers

Opened 1907; rebuilt 1924, demolished 1965 – Also known as Spiller Park or Spiller Field from 1924-32, Ponce de Leon Park was the home ballpark of the Southern League’s Atlanta Crackers from 1907-64. The Atlanta Black Crackers of the Negro American League shared the park with the white Crackers team but due to segregation at the time, were not allowed to play at the park when the Crackers had a home game. Flanked by Ponce de Leon Avenue to the south and the Southern Railway tracks to the east, the little ballpark (seating about 20,000) was truly nestled in downtown Atlanta. A magnolia tree in deep center field was its most distinguishing feature, with the tree being in play until 1947. The ballpark was torn down in 1965 when the Braves came to Atlanta. Today the Midtown Place mall is located where throngs of Atlanta baseball fans once cheered on the hometown teams.

Light Up Atlanta

June 25, 1983 - Central City Park (now Woodruff Park) provided a great place for people to watch fireworks light up Atlanta’s skyline during the ‘Light Up Atlanta Festival.’ In the early '80s, the Light Up Atlanta festival drew as many as 300,000 people downtown one weekend each June for a nighttime party of dancing, drinking and dining.

In the early '80s, the Light Up Atlanta festival drew as many as 300,000 people downtown each June for a nighttime weekend party of dancing, drinking and dining. First held in June 1983 as a way to draw suburban residents back to downtown Atlanta after dark, Light Up Atlanta eventually became a victim of its early success and violence ended the party after only three festivals. Here’s our look back through the lenses of our AJC photographers at the days when downtown turned on the lights – and the charm – for one weekend each June. Go to to see more images.


1955 – Boys in the lunchroom at Rome’s East Main School enjoy some milk. As our photographer noted, “at two cents each they could afford two half pints.” Pretty shrewd, fellahs.

Check out some more vintage back-to-school photos at “MyAJC Flashback Fotos: OK, back to school, Atlanta!” For complete back-to-school coverage, visit

Photo credit: Margaret Shannon / AJC file

Flashback Foto

In this March 1952 photo, the Henry Grady statue serves as a backdrop of sorts for promotion of the film “Steel Town,” then playing at the Loew’s Grand Theatre downtown, and as a call-to-action for Atlantans to participate in the city’s “Steel Town” scrap drive associated with the movie.
Lane Brothers Commercial Photographic Collection, GSU Special Collections

#FlashBackFriday Atlanta Cyclorama: Building getting new lease on life

Plans call for the Cyclorama, one of the city’s most valuable cultural artifacts, to leave its Grant Park home of nearly a century and relocate to a new building at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead. Zoo Atlanta would receive the existing Cyclorama building in Grant Park, which has housed the massive, panoramic, city-owned painting, depicting the Battle of Atlanta, since 1921. The neoclassical building will be adapted for new uses, thus preserving one of the city’s near-century-old landmark structures. But many other Atlanta landmarks haven’t been as fortunate as the Cyclorama building. They’ve fallen, literally and figuratively, as the city has grown throughout the 20th century and into the new millenium. Some enjoyed a long lifespan while others met their fate at a relatively young age, architecturally speaking, but for Atlantans of a certain age, most remain alive and well as memorable parts of our ever-expanding city’s history. Here are some we recall personally and some we’ve enjoyed just hearing tell of from others way back when… – Text by Howard Pousner, AJC, and AJC staff

#FlashBackFriday from the AJC:

The annual invitational golf tournament which would become the Masters (officially so named in 1939) began March 22, 1934, in Augusta, Georgia. And our Atlanta Journal and Constitution photographers were there to record the event. Here, tournament founder and golfing legend Bobby Jones is shown playing in the first tournament in 1934.