Atlanta was founded in 1837 as the end of the Western & Atlantic railroad line (it was first named Marthasville in honor of the then-governor's daughter, nicknamed Terminus for its rail location, and then changed soon after to Atlanta, the feminine of Atlantic -- as in the railroad).  Today the fast-growing city remains a transportation hub, not just for the country but also for the world: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport is one of the nation's busiest in daily passenger flights.  Direct flights to Europe, South America, and Asia have made metro Atlanta easily accessible to the more than 1,000 international businesses that operate here and the more than 50 countries that have representation in the city through consulates, trade offices, and chambers of commerce.  The city has emerged as a banking center and is the world headquarters for 13 Fortune 500 companies.

Atlanta is the Capital city of the southeast, a city of the future with strong ties to its past.  The old in new Atlanta is the soul of the city, the heritage that enhances the quality of life in a contemporary city.  In the turbulent 60's, Atlanta was "the city too busy to hate."  And today, in the 21st Century, Atlanta is the "city not too busy to care".

For more than four decades Atlanta has been linked to the civil rights movement.  Civil Rights leaders moved forward, they were the visionaries who saw a new south, a new Atlanta.  They believed in peace. They made monumental sacrifices for that peace.  And because of them Atlanta became a fast-pace modern city which opened its doors to the 1996 Olympics.

Die-hard Southerners view Atlanta as the heart of the Old Confederacy, Atlanta has become the best example of the New South, a fast-paced modern city proud of its heritage.

In the past two decades Atlanta has experienced unprecedented growth -- the official city population remains steady, at about 420,000, but the metro population has grown in the past decade by nearly 40%, from 2.9 million to 4.1 million people.  A good measure of this growth is the ever-changing downtown skyline, along with skyscrapers constructed in the Midtown, Buckhead, and outer perimeter (fringing I-285) business districts. 

Since the late 1970s dozens of dazzling skyscrapers designed by such luminaries as Philip Johnson, I. M. Pel, and Marcel Breuer have reshaped the city's profile.  Twenty-first Century, in Atlanta, history is being written...

For more Atlanta history click here.

Atlanta’s History City Hall Building

The Atlanta City Hall building, completed in 1930, is a fine example of a Neo-Gothic government building. The Atlanta City Hall is an 11-story tower set on a four story rectangular base, with pointed arches and uninterrupted piers. The reinforced concrete building has a cream-colored terra cotta veneer covering the entire building. There are white marble balustrades and steps at the Mitchell Street entrance. The lobby and other public spaces have decorative marble wainscoting, walls, and pillars, and ornamented plaster cornices. Prominent local architect G. Lloyd Preacher, who moved to Atlanta from Augusta, Georgia in 1922, designed Atlanta City Hall. Preacher designed many buildings in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. Among his designs in Atlanta are the Wynne-Claughton (Carnegie) Building, the Pershing Point Apartments/Hotel, the Medical Arts Building, and the McGlawn-Bowan (Standard) Building.

Atlanta's citizens have come here to visit city officials, attend meetings, and other business related to city government since its opening. In 1926 an $8 million bond issue was approved by Atlanta's citizens, of which $1 million was used for the construction of the new City Hall. The City of Atlanta moved its records and offices to the new City Hall in February 1930. Many historic events have taken place in this building. Mayor William B. Hartsfield called upon the legislature to desegregate Atlanta's schools without State intervention, and Maynard Jackson became the first African American elected mayor of any southern city since reconstruction. Three city halls existed in Atlanta prior to this one, the first (1855-1882) being located directly across the street from this building, on the current site of the Georgia State Capitol. The second City Hall was located at Pryor Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in a building owned by the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (1882-1911). The third City Hall was located in the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (1911-1930). The current location was originally the site of a private home and later a girl's high school until the city purchased the land in the 1920s for the site of the future City Hall. The main offices of City Hall remained at this location until March 1989, when a new addition at 55 Trinity Street opened and the 1930 building was closed for renovation work. The City Hall Annex facing Trinity Avenue was completed in March of 1989.