Inman Park, Atlanta's First Residential Neighborhood, Is Still On The Rise
In Atlanta, a resident's zip code reveals more than meets the eye. Where you choose to live in this network of historic squares and quirky communities is meaningful—a point of pride.
Connected now more than ever before, Atlanta's in-town neighborhoods are the intersection of perseverance and progression. Cruise down North Highland in the heart of Inman Park and the tug of war between preservation, reinvention, and development couldn't be clearer. Victorian homes and historic storefronts have found friends in new-age restaurants and apartment buildings that seem to have risen overnight. But that mix of aged brick, Victorian grace, and modern sheen melds together with a sense of inclusiveness that's reflective of its residents and visitors.
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Most of Atlanta's younger generations didn't discover the neighborhood's vibrant architecture until the BeltLine broke into the community. But those that called Inman Park home long before valet parking was prominent embraced the revival. The area has seen it all before; it was the first planned residential suburb of the city. Plotted in the late 1880s, the neighborhood's curved streets have housed the likes of Coca-Cola Company founders and former governors.
Today these century-old streets exercise their inclusivity and transformation in the form of a butterfly. Official neighborhood flags flank entryways with black and yellow wings. Gardens sport small iron sculptures that are ready to flutter away. Even their neighborhood watch signs welcome passersby with a neighborly butterfly logo.
Take a step closer, and you'll notice it's more than just a friendly symbol. Outlined by a yellow mark on both wings, two faces point opposite directions. One represents the beauty of looking to the past; the other looks ahead to the future.
But between the two, the present feels (and tastes) pretty good. Stroll through the stalls of Krog Street Market, an abandoned factory turned food hall, and you'll find yourself in a melding pot of cuisine, culture, and people. Aspiring film buffs and artists sit next to families straight from soccer practice eating everything from falafel to burritos and shedding light on local hot spots for the tourists sitting across the way.
Along Inman Park's section of the BeltLine, local businesses beckon walkers and bikers off the trail with open air dining, cocktails, and treats. Victory Sandwich Bar's epically cheap sliders and legendary Jack-and-Coke slushy pair with everything from peach popsicles from King of Pops' to brunch Bellinis at Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall– a progressive, food- and drink-filled way to cool off from a good bike ride.
Evening strollers might find themselves stopping into BeetleCat for a fresh order of oysters before heading to Little Spirit for a nightcap. It's a pick-your-own-adventure scene you can explore with your own two feet.
Then you take two steps down the next block, and redevelopment relapses. You're surrounded by mature trees, delicate homes, and tucked-away parks. If history and progress can intermingle in Inman Park, no wonder all sorts of characters and flavors can too.