ABOUT ADAIR PARK
Adair Park was established by George W. Adair in 1892. Its initial development served the middle class of that era. At the age of 22, George Washington Adair, became a conductor on the Georgia Railroad. From here Adair began to build capital, and by 1861 had enough funds to help found The Southern Confederacy, a local newspaper of the Civil War era. When the war was over, Adair opened a grocery business and then a real estate office. From a terminal in the West End development, which Adair named after a district in London, he established a line of mule drawn streetcars to run the district that is today called Midtown. It was from the latter experience that Adair came up with the idea of developing residences along streetcar lines.
In more recent times the neighborhood has experienced some trying times, but within the last few years an influx of urban pioneers has Adair Park undergoing a positive transformation. Individuals come seeking first time home ownership, while others are choosing to move back into the city for a number of other reasons. Adair Park offers the convenience of two beautiful and large parks with basketball & tennis courts, baseball fields, and playgrounds. In 2001, Adair Park was placed on the National Historic Registry, which has helped to maintain the characteristics that originally were found in its early years.
LIVING IN ADAIR PARK
The Adair Park Historic District is a residential neighborhood located southwest of downtown Atlanta and adjacent to the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks. This bungalow suburb was developed from the 1890s to the 1940s, when Atlanta was transitioning from a “railroad town” to a true city. Shortly after the Civil War, land speculators, notably George Washington Adair, John Thrasher and Thomas Alexander, began purchasing land in this area anticipating future growth. To increase the value of this land, Adair joined with Richard Peters in 1870 to form the Atlanta Street Railway Company to provide trolley access to the area. He also established the Atlanta Real Estate Company, and continued purchasing land for development. Adair’s company became the largest developer of property in Atlanta before he died in 1889. His sons, George and Forrest, continued the company, and began designing the Adair Park subdivision and selling lots in 1910.
Similar to neighboring West End, the predominate house type within the neighborhood is the bungalow with Craftsmen style detailing. Architectural styles represented include Folk Victorian, Queen Anne, and English Vernacular Revival. There are also a few apartment buildings within the district. Residential front yards within the district are generally small due to narrow lots and houses placed close to the street. Landscaping is informal with grass yards, mature trees and shrubs. There are some sidewalks, granite curbing, steps from the street to the yards, and retaining walls within the district. The few historic commercial buildings are generally one-story freestanding or attached neighborhood stores. Most are constructed of brick and feature storefront bays. Community landmark buildings include the George W. Adair School. Constructed in 1912, the school is a two-story brick building designed in the Academic Gothic Revival style with red brick. Other community buildings include the Stewart Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Adair Park Baptist Church. The recreational park in the district was established in 1922. Adair Park comprises 20 lots originally designated for houses that were not sold due to the sloped topography and swampy ground. Landscaped with open areas, mature trees, and historic walkways, the park has on its grounds a one-story brick bathhouse built in 1930.
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THINGS TO DO IN ADAIR PARK
Adair Park is a relatively small neighborhood in Southwest Atlanta bounded by the MARTA line (Murphy Ave and Lee St.) on the west, Metropolitan Parkway on the east, and the abandoned railroad / soon-to-be-paved BeltLine on the south. Adair Park is a protected Historic District.
The architecture and layout is typical of an early 20th century middle class subdivision: moderate-sized bungalows, many of which are elegantly styled Craftsmans, which sit close together with driveways and long backyards. Street trees and sidewalks exist throughout. The northern portion of the neighborhood is primarily industrial and includes the The Metropolitan, former warehouses converted to “a business and arts district.”