IN THE EARLY ‘70S DEVELOPERS MOVED ON THE 14TH STREET AND STRIP AREAS. MOST RENTAL PROPERTY LEFT BECAME TOO EXPENSIVE. THE CHEAP PLACES WERE FILLED WITH FOLKS FULL OF MOST ANYTHING BUT PEACE AND LOVE. A RASH OF FIREBOMBINGS DISCOURAGED ATTEMPTS TO BUILD A MORE SOLID COMMUNITY PRESENCE. NO CITY OFFICIALS SEEMED TO LOOK TOO HARD TO SOLVE DESTRUCTION SO HELPFUL TO THE BIG BOY’S PLANS FOR URBAN RENEWAL PROJECTS. ANYONE WITH KIDS OR WANTING A PEACEFUL, EASY FEELING HAD TO LOOK ELSEWHERE.
MANY PEOPLE VIEW THE KILLING OF TREE ON 14TH AS BEING JUST AFTER THE HIGH WATER MARK.
Flowing out from the eastern side of Piedmont Park, hip folks began to move into Virginia Highland and into the neighborhoods all along Ponce de leon.
Since Mr. More-Lanes wanted to pave Inman Park, Little Five Points and beyond into an expressway, ( see I-485 article below for more) houses were rented and sold cheaply by indifferent realtors hoping to cash in before condemnation or concrete .
The hip folks began working hard to revitalize homes and organize institutions to benefit the whole community such as the B.O.N.D. credit union to collectively finance dreams. Gradually they won the hearts and minds of the old-time residents. People worked to make somewhere to live and let live. Children arrived and people created day care projects and got involved in making good schools. the organizations created, at least in part by veterans of The Strip and the 14th street community , are the same ones that today make atlanta’s intown neighborhoods such sought after, stimulating areas to live.
Being on near direct bus routes to Georgia State and Georgia Tech, as well as the proximity of Emory, student counter culture people had already begun to inhabit cheap nooks and crannies of what could still be dangerous areas.
But that “let’s build a community” with hints of “Let’s put on a show!” spirit is still spreading joyful living to Decatur , CabbageTown, Grant Park , East Atlanta, and other areas.