Inman Park (30307) was Atlanta’s first streetcar suburb, featuring this form of electric transportation going east to downtown Atlanta as a drawing card of the neighborhood. It was planned in the 1880s by Joel Hurt, a civil engineer and real estate developer. His dream was to create a rural oasis connected to the city by the streetcar along Edgewood Avenue. A remnant of this line is the Trolley Barn, which still exists today as an event venue. Hurt named the suburb for his friend and business associate, Samuel M. Inman. Its original Victorian architecture was in style until the 1940s. However, the arrival of the automobile allowed upper-class Atlantans to move gradually north to Morningside, Ansley Park and Buckhead. In the 1950s and 1960s, Inman Park became economically depressed, and even the architecture seemed very outdated. In the 1970s, homes were demolished to make way for the proposed interstate highway, I-485. Once residents banded together and defeated I-485, the empty lots were transformed into Freedom Park.
In the 1970s, Inman Park became the first intown Atlanta neighborhood to gentrify. Robert Griggs and his partner Robert Aiken bought and restored a dilapidated and chopped-up rental house, creating a single family dwelling. Other restored homes followed and their restoration was featured in an annual tour of homes which created much attention in Atlanta. The years of renewal have turned Inman Park into a highly desirable intown neighborhood, with a mix of rental, owner-occupied single family homes and condominiums. Inman Park is undergoing even more positive development now, with Freedom Parkway to the north and the Beltline trail on the east. The spirit of renewal here creates its own excitement and atmosphere of community that embraces the future.
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