Are you an Atlanta native?

If so, you may remember many of the street name changes Atlanta went through. I’m always curious about our streets, and how they came to be, such as Boulevard Granada or Boulevard Lorraine (for some reason I picture a Brothel and over dressed corset wearing prostitutes when I say these names) but I was informed that many of the names are from either Civil Rights activist or former military Generals. With all due respect….BORING

Me, being a story-teller and lover of most things creative, I enjoy hearing the meaning behind names and circumstances surrounding the naming of a child, pet or object (yes, many people still name their car)  

While touring homes, I do notice some unique names in certain areas- for instance, up Benjamin E. Mays- many streets are named after birds. And recently, off Cleveland Ave and Browns Mill- I drive through Linda (my mother) Drive to get to Lydia (my daughter) Lane and saw Leah (my 2nd daughter) Road on the way back. It was an amusing home tour with my clients in the car and me taking pictures of the street signs with my cell.  Obviously these were not military generals.. so how, who and why were they named this?  Somethings will remain a mystery.  

Below is a list of  the many name changes in Atlanta. Some were definitely needed and at least have improved at the mental associations of the area.   What do you think of them?

  • Current name
    • Former name(s)
  • 10th St.
    • Bleckley Ave. (alternative name, 1890s, Piedmont to Peachtree); Madison (between Crescent and West Peachtree)
  • 11th St.
    • Harrison Ave. (alternative name, 1890s, Piedmont to Peachtree); Davis (between Crescent and West Peachtree)
  • 12th St.
    • Downe St. (alternative name, 1890s, Piedmont to Peachtree); Stewart (between Crescent and West Peachtree)
  • 13th St.
    • Center St. (alternative name, 1890s, Piedmont to Peachtree); Cleveland Street (between Crescent and West Peachtree)
  • 14th St.
    • Wilson Ave. (alternative name, 1890s)
  • Andrew YoungInternational Boulevard
    • International Boulevard
    • Cain Street (for pioneer John J. Cain)
    • Magnolia Street (1886 map, one block section between Marietta St. and railroad tracks)
  • Argonne Ave. (Midtown)
    • Bedford Place (Bedford Place continued south to Forrest Ave., now Ralph McGill; that portion is now called Central Park Place)
  • Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard
    • Fair Street (Pertains to the 14 blocks of Fair Street between Northside Drive and James P. Brawley Drive (formerly Chestnut Street).
  • Auburn Avenue(as of April 17, 1893)
    • Wheat Street (for Augustus W. Wheat)[1]
  • Barnett Avenue (Virginia Highland/Poncey-Highland)
    • Kearsarge Avenue[3]
  • Benjamin E. Mays Drive
    • Sewell Road
  • Briarcliff Road (Atkins Park/Virginia Highland)
  • Bolton Road
    • River Road
  • Boulevard
    • Rolling Mill Street (north of the railroad) from late 1860s to about 1880, for the Confederate Rolling Mill, which the Federal army had already destroyed in 1864
    • See also Monroe Drive below
  • Cameron M. Alexander Blvd. (English Avenueneighborhood)
    • Kennedy Street (until 2010)
  • Capitol Avenue (as of 1885)
    • McDonough Boulevard (for the town it eventually reaches)
  • Centennial Olympic Park Drive (from North Avenuesouth to around Mitchell Street)
    • Techwood Drive (from North Avenue into Georgia Tech campus)
    • Orme Street (from around North Avenue south to Cain St. (now Andrew Young Intl. Blvd.)
    • Walker Street (from around Mitchell Street south to Peters Street)
  • Central Park Place (Old Fourth Ward)
    • Bedford Place
  • Charles Allen Drive (Midtown)
    • N. Jackson Street
  • Courtland Street(as of September 20, 1886)
    • North Collins Street (for pioneer James Collins[1] — renamed because of South Collins Street’s reputation as a red light district)
  • Crescent Avenue
    • Macon St., Old Peachtree Rd.
  • Donald Lee HollowellParkway
  • Felton Drive (for Rebecca Felton)
    • Summit Avenue
  • Hamilton E. HolmesDrive
    • Hightower Road
  • Hank Aaron Drive (from Fulton Street south to McDonoughBoulevard/University Avenue)
    • Capitol Avenue
  • Hosea L. WilliamsDrive
    • Boulevard Drive
  • Ivan Allen Jr.Boulevard (from West Peachtree Street west to Marietta Street)
    • Simpson Street (for Leonard C. Simpson, Atlanta’s first lawyer), Jones Avenue and Alexander Street (for Dr. James F. Alexander)
  • James P. Brawley Drive
    • Chestnut Street
  • Jesse Hill Jr.Drive
    • Butler Street
  • John Portman Boulevard At Historic Harris Street (as per Atlanta City Councilvote May 16, 2011)
    • Harris Street – (for Fulton County’s first elected legislator)
  • John Wesley DobbsAvenue (for John Wesley Dobbs, African-American civic and political leader, “mayor of Auburn Ave.”
  • Joseph E. BooneBoulevard (as of March 24, 2008″, for the civil rights activist)
    • Simpson Street/Road (for Leonard C. Simpson)
  • Rev. Dr. Joseph E. LoweryBoulevard
  • Maiden Lane (Virginia Highland)
    • Grove Street
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.Drive
    • Hunter Street, Gordon Road
  • Memorial Drive
    • Fair Street (for the South Central Agricultural Society fair, which moved to facilities on Fair St. in 1850)
  • Metropolitan Parkway
    • Stewart Avenue (renamed because of redlight district reputation)
  • Monroe Drive (to honor the Monroe Landscaping Company which did extensive plantings in the area)
    • N. Boulevard
  • Moreland Avenue, after Major Asbury Fletcher Moreland (1828-1909), father-in-law of architect Willis F. Denny.Moreland’s house still stands at 326 Moreland Ave. The Moreland Park community also named after him is now part of Inman Park.
    • County Line Road
  • Park Avenue West (as of April 20, 2001)
    • Foundry Street and Luckie Street (south of Baker Street – formerly Thurmond Street)
  • Parkway Dr. (Old Fourth Ward)
    • Jackson St.
  • Peachtree CenterAvenue
  • Peachtree Street(south of railroad gulch)
    • Whitehall Street (for the Whitehall Tavern, a tavern/inn established in the 1830s)
  • Peachtree Walk
    • Centre Street (from 1895 map)
  • Piedmont Road
    • (Lindbergh/Buckhead area): Plaster’s Bridge Road (or Plaster Bridge Road) for Benjamin Plaster who owned land between Piedmont and Peachtree around Lindbergh. Renamed Piedmont around 1915-1920.
    • (Midtown area): For the 1895 Cotton States Expo, Plaster’s Bridge Road south of 10th street was rerouted to connect to an extension of Calhoun Street from downtown, all of which was renamed Piedmont Road.
  • Ralph David AbernathyBoulevard
  • Ralph McGillBoulevard (for the Atlanta Constitution publisher who won the Pulitzer Prize for his anti-segregation editorials in 1969)
    • Forrest Avenue (for Civil War lieutenant-general and first Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan Nathan Bedford Forrest)
    • eastern portion just west of the BeltLine was Fortune St.
  • Sidney MarcusBoulevard
    • Marian Road
  • Spring Street (south of Alabama — for Walton Spring)
  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Way (as of May 10, 2010)
    • Raymond Street
  • Trinity Avenue
  • Washington Street
    • South Collins Street
  • West Peachtree Street
    • Atwood Street (alternative name on 1895 map)
  • William Holmes Borders Drive
    • Yonge Street

If you could rename a street in your community, which one would it be and what would you change it to?

Author: niaknowles

From Native New Yorker (Brooklyn) to Atlanta Realtor, with a love for architecture and design. Atlanta based Real Estate Consultant working to restore and sell Intown Homes; REO,South West (Westside,West End, Westview Communities 30310,30311,30314,30318 zip codes)

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