East Atlanta is a vibrant, eclectic neighborhood located about three miles southeast of downtown Atlanta. The community is about one half-mile south of Interstate 20. East Atlanta is only minutes away from all the attractions of downtown, including Turner Field, the Georgia Dome, CNN Center, Centennial Olympic Park, and Philips Arena. It is also convenient to the city of Decatur. The neighborhood is served by several bus lines.
In the years before the Civil War, the area that would become East Atlanta was quiet farmland. During the War, however, Atlanta's defenses were set up just to the west of the area; the Union Army camped there, and, during the Battle of Atlanta in July of 1864, 12,000 men were killed on the ground where East Atlanta Village now sits. After the war, a commercial village grew up to capture the farm trade outside of Atlanta. As Atlanta spread out, the area was developed into a true suburb. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, East Atlanta grew into a thriving town with new houses, businesses and public transportation. It followed the same pattern of decline that many of Atlanta's intown neighborhoods did, and by the 1960s, the area was crime- and drug-ridden. Only in the mid-1990s did East Atlanta become "hot'' again, with young families moving back, restoring the housing stock and opening and reviving businesses.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution calls East Atlanta "arguably, Atlanta's hippest neighborhood, a rough-around-the-edges alternative to Virginia Highland or Midtown with a slew of new restaurants and bars.'' The neighborhood has established itself as one of Atlanta's best places to hear live music from new or alternative bands. Atlanta chefs often try out their newest concepts in East Atlanta, and bars, coffeehouses and galleries draw both residents and visitors to the community. Restaurants, bars and other businesses retain a laidback, unpretentious feel that is often missing in more "gentrified'' neighborhoods.
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Updated: 23rd January, 2019 4:37 AM.