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This “art house boutique,” which began as a pop-up along the Atlanta Streetcar route last summer, has nested permanently on Auburn Avenue. Inside you’ll find unique and affordable clothing and gifts from local makers such as Yo Soy Candle, Revive Bath & Body, and Stephanie’s Paper Shop.
Back in 2012, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn district to its list of the country’s “most endangered” historic places. Much bemoaning of Atlanta’s fondness for the wrecking ball followed—just as it had in 1992, the first time that the Trust sounded the alarm on the precarious status of one of the most influential locations in African American history.
Last week, something lovely happened at Truly Living Well’s Wheat Street Garden. There among the beds of squash and tomatoes, on a concrete slab where a housing project once stood, a farmers market blossomed.
A century or so ago, if a black resident of Atlanta wanted to stop for a drink after work, he’d have to go to the basement of a saloon, or sit behind a curtain or screen in the rear of a bar. Jim Crow laws, which controlled everything from what African Americans could wear (no capes) and how they got to upper floors of the Candler Building (the freight elevator), kept the races from sharing a cold beer or shot of rye side by side.
The historic Sweet Auburn corridor will get an infusion of energy over the next six months as the Obama presidential reelection campaign sets up its Georgia headquarters at 171 Auburn Avenue. Having such a high-profile tenant in the area will bring much-needed attention to the struggling historic district. This is especially critical this year as work is underway on the new streetcar line that will run along the street, and civic leaders look for ways to revitalize the surrounding area.
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