In the Atlanta spirit of rebuilding and rebranding, we're revamping this blog as part of upcoming additions to atlantamagazine.com. All the ATL history and landmarks coverage (plus more!) will become part of a new city guide section of the site. I'll be weighing in on news, politics, and issues in the Five Points blog. Yes, there will be more griping about sidewalks and lack thereof.
This week, Georgia legislators kick off their annual huddle under the Gold Dome. I'll leave it to others predict the session ahead, and take a look at the Dome itself. Turns out the Georgia State Capitol offers a cautionary case study on political grandstanding and cheapness.
Before the Capitol-with-an-O was erected, Atlanta had to secure its position as Georgia’s Capital-with-an-A. In the earliest days of Georgia statehood, Savannah served as the capital city. For the next century, the statehouse hopscotched all over, with five cities designated official capitals and other locales serving as temporary meeting places for politicos, as this handy timeline from the Digital Library of Georgia, reveals:
1780-81 Heard's Fort*, miscellaneous sites in Wilkes County
1782 Ebenezer*, Savannah
1784 Savannah, Augusta
* Temporary meeting place
In the late eighties, I had an internship in the internal PR department of the Department of Administrative Services, the “centralized procurement function for state of Georgia government entities.” Yup. About as exciting as it sounds. When my boss wasn't shopping for shoes at the old downtown Rich’s store, she regaled me with stories about my fabulous predecessor, super intern Jenny. Apparently Jenny was not only brilliant, but also tall and lanky and lovely — and fond of shoes.
The highlight of my tenure was correcting grammar and spelling on memos from the office of then-governor Joe Frank Harris. The low point was writing an article for the internal newsletter about DOAS employees who had the same names as famous folks. The hardest interview of my journalistic career was chatting up Jimmy Stewart in the fleet management division, who was old and embittered because the only thing people thought interesting ...