Home Tags Gentrification
“A poke at the underbelly of Atlanta’s gentrification.” An artist fights to preserve Blandtown’s forgotten history.
Gregor Turk paid $85,000 for his northwest Atlanta studio. That was in 2003—ancient history in the fast-evolving landscape of intown gentrification. Turk’s studio is now surrounded by 35 new single-family homes, with prices starting at $550,000, and the area has been rechristened “West Town.” Not so fast, says Turk, who in 2016 erected a billboard in his yard that reads, “Welcome to the Heart of Blandtown.” The sign is not a passive-aggressive middle finger at developers, Turk says. Instead, it’s a history lesson.
Long neglected by developers and city planners, Grove Park’s turn in the gentrification spotlight is attributable to its proximity not just to downtown but also to some of the most ambitious green-space initiatives in Atlanta’s history. But an effort is underway to ensure Grove Park’s transformation doesn't come at the cost of its longtime residents.
In December, Raisha Williams moved her cookie operation to a new, shared commercial kitchen that will soon double as a market on the weekends. Its name, Marddy’s, is a mash-up of “market” and “buddy.” For Marddy’s owner Keitra Bates, this is not just an entrepreneurial upstart; it’s a hedge against gentrification.
Our public high school had students from more than 65 different countries. A decade after graduation, my older son still has friends who are Indian, Brazilian, Korean, and American of all colors. Ramadan became as familiar a part of the academic calendar to him as Thanksgiving and Passover.
ANCS’s diversity that was such a point of pride had become a victim of gentrification. In 2014, the school instituted a plan to boost the enrollment of students living on low incomes. “Diverse by design,” as the effort is called, has gained traction among charter schools across the nation, as the effort is called, has gained traction among charter schools across the nation, as more and more seek to assemble a student body of different socioeconomic statuses and racial backgrounds.
In 2016 Monica Campana, the cofounder and executive director of Atlanta street art festival Living Walls, and Marian Liou, the founder of We Love BuHi, a social media love letter to Buford Highway, met while applying for fellowships at downtown’s Center for Civic Innovation. Soon after, they decided to partner and bring Living Walls to Buford Highway.