By Ann Taylor Boutwell
July 1, 1925: Atlanta’s newest bachelors’ address opened at 591 Peachtree St. The 12-story red brick and limestone building designed by Pringle and Smith architectural firm opened as the Carlton Hotel with 143 apartments. The first floor lounge had sanded wood-paneled walls, heavy beamed ceilings, and a huge limestone fireplace. Over the past 88 years the site has been called the Carlton Hotel, Cox-Carlton, Hotel York, and Days Inn Hotel-Peachtree. Today the exterior looks pretty much as it did in 1925. In 2004, it became Hotel Indigo, a boutique hotel. The address is now 686 Peachtree St.
July 12, 1868: Three years after the Civil War, Walton Spring Park remained one of Atlanta’s favorite gathering spots. Named for Augusta native Anderson W. “Lee” Walton, an early member of Atlanta’s first city council in 1848, the property had a diverse list of uses, including wagon yard, amusement park, bathhouse, saloon, confectionary concession and picnic grounds. Today the Spring Street spot is a 10,000 square foot triangular public greenspace located across from the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel on the northeastern corner.
July 12, 1868: Three years after the Civil War, Walton Spring Park remained one of Atlanta’s favorite gathering spots. Named for Augusta native Anderson W. “Lee” Walton, an early owner and member of Atlanta’s first council elected, Feb. 2, 1848. Historians recording the diverse uses of the property over the years have mentioned a wagon yard, amusement park, wooden wheel, bathhouse, saloon, confectionary concession, and picnic grounds. Today the Spring Street spot is a 10,000 square foot triangular public greenspace located across from the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel on the northeastern corner. Historian Norman D. Anderson noted Walton Spring Park in his 1992 book Ferris Wheels: An Illustrated History as the location of Antonio Maquino’s amusement wheel. As early as 1848 the immigrant merchant sold sweets and notions under the shade trees. To attract patrons he constructed a rotating contrivance, a large wooden wheel to which he secured boxes, providing riding cars for his customers. It was forty feet in diameter, crudely constructed and revolved on an axle, powered by two male African Americans. Maquino’s wheel predated civil engineer George Washington Gale Ferris’s glamorous symbol of the Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition by 45 years. Atlanta’s newest amusement wheel, Skyview will open July 2013 adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park.
July 14, 1908: The Uncle Remus Association decided to purchase the Joel Chandler Harris home in West End known as The Wren’s Nest. After five years of intensive fundraising it became a reality on Jan. 18, 1913. That Saturday, Mrs. Esther La Rose Harris, widow of the author, turned her deed to the house over to the association. The association preserved the house so that little children could see the place where Joel Chandler Harris wrote his stories. Harris lived in the Queen Anne Victorian from 1881 to 1908 and penned many of the Brer Rabbit tales on the front porch.
July 19, 1986: The grand opening of the Atlanta Cyclorama’s new $380,000 Civil War Museum was appropriately celebrated during the annual commemoration week of the Battle of Peachtree Creek (July 20, 1865) and the Battle of Atlanta (July 22, 1865).
July 20-August 4, 1996: During the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, the Czech Republic team was lodged at the Randolph-Lucas House in Buckhead on Peachtree Road. The Georgian-Revival style home was designed by Atlanta Architect P. Thornton Marye for Hollins Nichols Randolph, the great-great-grandson of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. Author Anne River Siddons used the two-story red built as the model for the Bondurant mansion in her 1989 novel, Peachtree Road. After the Olympics, the Czech-Republic returned home with eleven medals; four were gold. The Randolph-Lucas House will be moved to Ansley Park later this summer.
July 27, 1924: Architectural firm of Heinz, Reid & Adler moved its offices from north Forsyth Street to the Candler Building, where they opened a suite of six large offices. A year earlier the firm completed the 696 Peachtree Street Apartments located in Midtown on the southwestern comer of Peachtree and Sixth streets. It s one of the last works of Neel Reid before his death in 1926. The Georgian-Revival style five-story red brick with basement is adorned with limestone such as the classical swags above the entry door etched with the buildings original 696 address, the current address is 826 Peachtree and the building is called the Manor House. On May 8, 2013, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property owners sponsored the nomination and Georgia State University graduate students prepared the nomination materials. The property is privately owned and not opened to the public.
Ann Taylor Boutwell is an Atlanta historian, tour guide and docent at the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.