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LCI Study Open House

Please join the Livable Centers Initiative Study Team to review findings of the 10-Year update of the Moreland Corridor Livable Centers Initiative Plan.

When: Tuesday, April 18th, Doors will open at 6:00, presentation at 6:30

Where: Horizon Theater, 1083 Austin Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

What: The presentation is part of a Livable Centers Initiative Plan Update and will review:

  • Transportation issues in the corridor.
  • Future land use recommendations such as allowing more office uses along Moreland.
  • Potential catalytic projects such as reclaiming, maintaining, and perhaps opening the Sugar Creek flood plain to recreational uses.

The Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) is a program of the Atlanta Regional Commission that awards planning grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to prepare and implement plans for neighborhood enhancement .

Download the current version of the Study Report by clicking here

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County Line Road

 

The south end of the Moreland Corridor Study Area was originally anchored by a sizable hill: the high point between Decatur and City of Atlanta. The hill was removed in total for the construction of the Moreland/ I-20 interchange in the 1950’s. 800px-Mortimer_Dormer_Leggett_-_Brady-HandyInterestingly the hill was known as Leggett’s Hill until it was hauled away, one of the few places in Atlanta ever to be named for a Union Leader. Brigadier General Mortimer D. Leggett captured the hill in the Battle for Atlanta and used its vantage point to defeat the confederate troops. Leggett’s legacy was quite impressive after the war as well, first appointed as the US Commissioner of Patents and later drew on his patents expertise to help organize a collection of innovative companies into General Electric. His son, also named Mortimer, achieved a brief moment in history while a student at Cornell in 1873, when he became the first person known to die in a college fraternity initiation. Today Leggett and his hill are remembered only in the Cyclorama, and the deep ravine of I-20 occupies one of the lowest spots between Decatur and Atlanta.

 

 

Introducing L5PCID

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The Little 5 Points Community Improvement District represents a natural step along the path that L5P has trod for four decades. The CID reflects the district it grew out of. It’s intown, very grassroots (composed of small businesses and engaged neighbors), artsy and … definitely unique. It’s unlike any other CID in Georgia, because it represents a relatively small commercial district, dominated by community advocates and oriented toward improving public, walkable spaces more than commerce. It’s more about community than business.

Over the last 45 years, L5P has helped to birth a uniquely Southern counterculture — a spirit that is central to the region’s current urban reinvention.

Just consider how much has happened near the intersection of Moreland, McLendon and Euclid avenues. Among many other things, the district has been home to several of the metro area’s premier music venues, three theater companies, Atlanta’s most prominent record-swap shops, the metro area’s defining health food coop and its first true espresso bar. The culture of iconoclastic disruption spawned in Little Five Points is a foundation for Atlanta’s intown revival.

If the Atlanta of tomorrow will be built on entrepreneurship and innovation, it owes a great deal to the spirit of cultural creativity for which Little Five Points has served as a Mecca. L5P leaders — many of whom were involved in the district’s earlier establishment as the Southeast’s counterculture capital — are now committed to figuring out how the district can play the kind of defining role in Atlanta’s future that it has in the recent past and as it does in the present.

Quite appropriately, it was established through the work of a non-profit planning firm — Commons Planning — and that non-profit firm continues to support the CID’s initiative.
As a small organization, the CID has limited resources. So it relies on strong strain of volunteerism. And it turns out that that volunteerism also strengthens the CID by building broad grassroots support for the district’s activities.
The CID provides a framework to help L5P deal with challenging issues. Its formal role is very similar to that of other CIDs — albeit on a smaller scale: How to deal, for example, with traffic and parking. How to encourage biking and walking. How to ensure that public spaces are safe and attractive. How to encourage a mix of development that will strengthen the district, as a whole.

The CID is a bit like Little Five Points: Its participants are contributing to a broader reinvention of a form of governmental agency much as Little Five Points has contributed to the broadening of Southern culture.

The Weave of The East Side of Atlanta

The weave of the urban fabric east of Atlanta’s city center has always had a predominate grain running in the east/west direction. The few north/south streets that existed were primarily used for local traffic rather than through put. Steep ridges, low lying bogs, and/or rail lines posed significant challenges to north and south traffic. Until the 1960’s residents of the east side of Atlanta simply did not circulate north and south much: the eastside neighborhoods related to downtown, but little to each other. As late as 1959, the DeKalb Avenue and train tracks formed a substantial hurdle for north south traffic, requiring steep climbs over 40 foot high berms and crossing multiple train tracks. The north and south side of DeKalb Avenue in the Moreland Corridor had very little in common.

Atlanta_streetcars_1924
Atlanta Streetcar Map 1924. Linear routes project out from the city center, forming a hub and spoke system rather than a woven network. The street car system was the main transportation mode for the east side neighborhoods.
Moreland Viaduct
1946 proposal to build the Moreland Viaduct under DeKalb Ave and the Rail Road. The white road in plan are proposed new construction, and the section diagram shows the 1946 existing grade in a faint line and the proposed grade in a dark line. A 30 foot grade separation prevented access between North and South Moreland.
Boulevard Viaduct
1946 proposal to build the Boulevard Viaduct under DeKalb Ave and the Rail Road. The white road in plan are proposed new construction, and the section diagram shows the 1946 existing grade in a faint line and the proposed grade in a dark line. A 45 foot grade separation prevented access between North and South Boulevard
Moreland underpass 1959
Moreland Underpass being dug in 1959.  The view is from in front of where the Edgewood retail district is today looking north. The Seaboard transformer station on the left is still there today.
Moreland_North_Avenue_and_Fairview (1)
Moreland Avenue North of DeKalb before it connected through to South Moreland. It served as a grand boulevard for prominent Atlanta families. The Druid Hills park system along Ponce served as a latter extension to the Moreland high society neighborhood.