Tracing the Origins of Modern-Day Midtown’s Momentum

 

The Midtown Business Association, known today as Midtown Alliance, created a bridge between City of Atlanta government and the community to help Midtown reach its potential as a place for commerce and culture. Bolstered by leadership and initial financial support from Central Atlanta Progress, this coalition of business leaders started turning the gears. Nearly four decades later, the Midtown Improvement District, Midtown Alliance and its 350+ member organizations are helping them spin even faster.

“New workers and residents are arriving into this community every day, and few of them would ever know the magnitude of the change that has happened here,” said Midtown Alliance president and CEO Kevin Green. “Business leaders, civic leaders and residents had to unite around a bold vision. City officials had to sign off on the most comprehensive rezoning in Atlanta’s history. Developers had to risk lots of capital to create what we have today.”

Midtown Atlanta: Then & Now

 

From a bird's-eye-view, much has changed about Midtown Atlanta's skyline, with more than 60 projects developed since 1980. Today, another 30+ projects are in the pipeline for Midtown.

The corner of 8th and Peachtree Street looking north.

In the 1970s, Jeanne's Dress Shoppe anchored Commercial Row at the corner of Peachtree Street and Peachtree Place. Today, neighborhood market Savi Provisions calls it home. 

Looking south, the corner of 11th and Peachtree street in Midtown Atlanta.

Pictured above are the Commercial Row storefronts from the 1970s, which currently houses Savi Provisions Market and event space for the Atlanta History Center's Margaret Mitchell House.

The Margaret Mitchell House facing 10th Street.

In the 1960s, the corner of 5th and Spring Street was home to an auto dealership. Today, this corner is the epicenter of Atlanta's technology scene. 

What was once a neglected lot in the 1980s is now the 10th Street Pocket Park, home to badminton and cornhole games.

 

From the Archives

 

A snazzy song about MARTA from the 1987 Midtown Business Association Annual Meeting.

A song about how IBM selected its Atlanta office HQ - from the 1987 MBA Annual Meeting.

Shelton Stanfill (1940-2017), the 2003 Midtown Alliance chairman, expounds on the power of cities.

 

Help us find more stories that matter to Midtown’s 40 years of transformation.

Got a cool photo or an idea for an interesting story about Midtown or an important figure that has contributed to Midtown’s renaissance from the 70s to now? We want to hear from you. Drop us a line at Marketing@MidtownATL.com.


Special thanks to these research partners

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, AtlantaTimeMachine.com, Georgia State University Library Digital Collections and Archives, James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center