Dear Decaturish – Decatur Terrace was ‘No Man’s Land’

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 22, 2015

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Dear Decaturish,

The MARTA Collection is a treasure given to Georgia State University by Ryan VanSickle, a senior planner at MARTA. I thoroughly enjoyed researching my own neighborhood and sharing my findings with my amazing neighbors. I encourage you to do the same and take the time to investigate your own neighborhood.

Here’s some of what I dug up from The Avondale Transit Station Area Development Plan from 1976 as it pertains to Decatur Terrace…

Decatur Terrace is never mentioned by name in these documents but is referred to as a “No Man’s Land neighborhood” (which can be defined as land that is under dispute between parties). This description remains applicable today considering Decatur Terrace’s appearance and deletion on recent annexation maps.

Referred to as “Development Area 6,” Decatur Terrace was projected to be heavily affected by the proposed Arcadia Ave/Katie Kerr connection down to S. Columbia.

“This single-family residential neighborhood provides low to moderate income housing, a valuable and scarce resource in the County. Therefore, preservation of this area is recommended. The proposed North-South Connector [Arcadia Ave/Katie Kerr] will require the removal of a number of homes: however, the neighborhood as a whole will benefit from the linear park created as a buffer from the improved Arcadia Avenue.”

“This single-family residential neighborhood provides low to moderate income housing, a valuable and scarce resource in the County. Therefore, preservation of this area is recommended. The proposed North-South Connector [Arcadia Ave/Katie Kerr] will require the removal of a number of homes: however, the neighborhood as a whole will benefit from the linear park created as a buffer from the improved Arcadia Avenue.”

Presumably, “Lanier Gardens” was supposed to be a true linear park from E. College Ave all the way down to Craigie Street rather than the tiny pocket park it is today.

“The ‘No Man’s Land’ neighborhood located immediately to the east of the proposed Avondale Station also needs to be protected from through traffic infiltration. The elimination of portions of Hillmont Avenue, Dalerose Avenue, Brown Place, and Hillyer Avenue should provide adequate protection.”

“The ‘No Man’s Land’ neighborhood located immediately to the east of the proposed Avondale Station also needs to be protected from through traffic infiltration. The elimination of portions of Hillmont Avenue, Dalerose Avenue, Brown Place, and Hillyer Avenue should provide adequate protection.”

MARTA also proposed adding a two-lane Craigie Street extension to the west, connecting to Sam St./Talley St.

DD3

In light of the potential upcoming Avondale Station developments, the old plans envisioned a similar mixed-use concept. A few highlights:

The plans were HUGE! The renderings from 1976 look like a business district, similar to downtown Decatur and not far off from recent proposals.

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DD5

Everything old is new again…

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Like most of our area, Decatur Terrace has undergone periods of tremendous change yet retains its uniquely funky spirit and artsy vibe. I love my neighborhood and feel a stronger connection with each piece of history I learn. Thanks for reading!

-Brantley Eaton

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

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