Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Inman Park's War Streets

Two overlooked one-block streets: Charming craftsman and a stone church sit atop one of Atlanta's most historic sites. The Battle of Atlanta was lost and won here on the afternoon of July 22, 1864: nearly 12,000 casualties in the span of six hours.


DeGress Avenue and Battery Place are across Dekalb Avenue from the Inman Park MARTA station. Here is Battery Place today, now a charming dead end of smallish bungalows overlooking a park. A marvelous place in my opinion.
P1010588-2010-04-05-Inman-DeGress-Dekalb-Sleepy-Battery-Place

If you can find your way, you'll be glad you did. Certainly you'll notice many historical markers. Here is one about the DeGress Battery the namesake for both streets.
P1010590-2010-04-05-Inman-DeGress-Battery-Marker

Turn down DeGress and find this stone church.
P1010579-2010-04-05-Inman-DeGress-Stone-Church-Tower-Detail

From around this site it is believed that US artillery fired the first shots on downtown Atlanta. This is the scene of events depicted in the Atlanta Cyclorama at Grant Park. They built a 40' tower east of here so the Cyclorama artists could get the lay of the land.

Today, bungalows with chimney pots.
P1010589-2010-04-05-Inman-DeGress-Chimney-Pots

This is the one place in Atlanta where I can make any sense of the battle. General Hood's CSA headquarters were on the hill top that is now Oakand Cemetary west of here. Sherman's headquarters were at hill top that is now the Carter Center just north. Hood attacked the Union line from Bald Hill (intersection of I-20 and Moreland to the south) to the DeGress Battery, two strategic hill tops.

P1010580-2010-04-05-Inman-DeGress-Stone-Church-Stained-Glass

Here the CSA had it's only success. It broke through the Union line and captured the cannon but were repulsed with in the hour effectively ending the battle. Atlanta didn't surrender until September 2, 1864 after the Union severed the Macon & Western railroad near Jonesboro.
P1010581-2010-04-05-Inman-DeGress-Stone-Church-Capital

I doubt that many Inman Park residents know what happened here. Fewer still have visited either street.

But as Architecture Tourists I know you will seek them out. If you are cruising Inman Park, brunching at Parrish, listening at Variety Playhouse, getting a tattoo in Little Five Points, seeing the orangutans at the Grant Park Zoo or just looking big pink houses, you are within a mile of here.
PC041429-Pink-House-Inman-Corner-Porch

The string of neighborhoods along the tracks east of Atlanta are delights for architecture tourists. The MLK Historic District, Old 4th Ward, Inman Park, Reynoldstown, Little 5 Points, Candler Park, Lake Claire, and Decatur define eclectic. The thoroughfares, Moreland, Dekalb Avenue, Edgewood, and McLendon just tease.

There are a little pockets of hidden streets that seem from another place or another era: The War Streets, Josephine and Elmira - Lady Streets of Candler Park, The State Streets, The Park Streets, Southerland Hill, the Garden Streets. Each has it's own personalty.

Thanks,
Terry

P.S. Would you like to learn more about the battle, the battlefields, and how it looks today? Perhaps you know a student doing a project. See "Tracking the Battle of Atlanta, Today" by David Buckhout who sets a very high standard for Architecture Tourists.

P.P.S. Look for Inman Park's figure fence.
P7310683-Inman-Park-Figure-Fence-LongView

10 comments:

  1. Very interesting hisorical facts, Terry thank you for sharing. A wonderful neightborhood.

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  2. been by there and saw the sign, but never knew the details. thanks!

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  3. Looks like an interesting neighborhood with lots to see. The church is adorable.

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  4. Hi, Terry,

    My husband is a history teacher and will find this post interesting. I love the stone church! Also, the Druid Hills Presbyterian Church featured in your last post is exquisite.

    Who knows, if I ever find myself "at Little Five Points getting a tattoo"(hee,hee), I'll be sure to look these places up!

    Susan S

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  5. I didn't know any of that! Thanks so much for the lesson! I love the picture you took of the window...

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  6. This is my neck of the woods. I walk the dogs by that pink house every day. I don't walk by the church as often, but I certainly have. I didn't know the Battle of Atlanta was lost right there. Slightly embarrassed, thanks for the enlightenment. I'm sure my mom is thanking you, too. She reads all those signs!!

    As for the neighborhood, it's the best! Strolling the Inman Park streets is something I treasure every day.

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  7. I knew SOME of that (wink) but learned more. Thanks Terry for explaining HDR on another blog, you really do give me a great education.

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  8. Love the pink house and I've always wanted to live in a pink house. J. veto'd the idea though!

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  9. I was just by there today! Lovely area of Atlanta and I definitely appreciate the history lesson. So many battles.

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  10. It's the little details that make all these buildings! The picket fence and the cornice are examples of superb craftsmanship. Thanks for the history of the area as well; I always like to know the background info!

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