• 20 things you won't find in Atlanta anymore

    By: Stephanie Toone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - A change -- or many changes -- have certainly come to Atlanta over the last several years.

    The leaders, faces and places that signify what the ATL is all about have, in some cases, disappeared, but they hold a special place in the hearts of those who remember them.

    Below, you’ll find a curated selection of some legendary elements of Atlanta that are long gone.

    1. Freaknik

    Freaknik: The college spring break picnic turned divisive street festival that snarled traffic and enraged many Atlantans in the mid-1990s waned until it eventually died in 1999.
    RICH ADDICKS

    After a successful 1990s run as the premier urban spring break party of the South, Freaknik fizzled out in 1999. The picnic, which snarled traffic and upset some Atlantans, nearly made a return in 2016.

    2. Omni Coliseum

    The arena, often called The Omni, hosted everyone from Elvis Presley to Chuck Berry to Michael Jackson. It was demolished in 1997 to make way for Phillips Arena. 

    3. Carver's Country Kitchen

    Carvers Country Kitchen: The Southern-fried food-scene staple closed in 2013 with plans to open shop just blocks away. However, months later, owners announced that the restaurant would not reopen and put the site up for sale.
    YOUTUBE / CARVERSKITCHEN

    The Southern-fried Atlanta staple closed in 2013 with plans to open shop just blocks away, but owners opted to sell it instead. The West Midtown spot is now an events ticketing site.

    4. Rich's department store, downtown

    The beloved store was synonymous with Atlanta shopping from 1867 until it was acquired by Macy’s in 2005. The department store was also the home of the now legendary Pink Pig holiday tradition.

    5. Ramblin' Raft Race

    Ramblin’ Raft Race on the Chattahoochee: The famed event kicked off Memorial Day weekend in the 1970s. The race ended its long run in 1980 when the event swelled to unmanageable numbers, and officials stopped paying for security and cleanup.
    AJC 1971

    In 1969, a group of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity members at Georgia Tech spearheaded the Memorial Day weekend raft race on the Chattahoochee River, which eventually drew as many as 300,000 participants and spectators. Amid rising concern about the environmental impact, the race was canceled in 1980.

    6. William Hartsfield

    William Hartsfield: Atlanta’s longest-serving mayor (six terms) died in 1971.
    AJC 1958

    Atlanta’s longest-serving mayor, who served six terms, died in 1971. Serving Atlanta for a total of 23 years, Hartsfield guided his hometown through the Depression and the emerging Civil Rights era. 

    7. 88.5/WRAS-FM daytime

    Despite protests from listeners and students, in 2014, Georgia Public Broadcasting took over Georgia State University’s beloved radio station WRAS-FM/88.5 FM from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. to fill those hours with news radio. The station had been on the air since 1971.

    8. Here to Serve restaurants

    In October 2015, the conglomerate shut down 10 of Atlanta’s most popular restaurants, including Prime, Smash, Strip and Twist. About 1,000 employees were left confused and unemployed.

    9. Burkhart’s Pub

    Burkhart's Pub in Midtown: Avery Thompson (cq), left, and Billy Miller (cq), right, partied on the dance floor at the Burkhart's Pub in Midtown Saturday night. Miller and Thompson participated at the pub's Patsy and Edina look-alike contest.
    SUNNY SUNG/AJC

    A longtime fixture of Atlanta’s LGBTQ nightlife scene, Burkhart’s shuttered its doors in early 2018. The closure came weeks after the bar’s former owner, Palmer Marsh, came under fire for racially charged Facebook posts that resurfaced from 2015. In spring 2018, the owners of the Midtown spot Oscar’s announced they plan to reopen the bar under a new name.

    10. Atlanta Fulton County Stadium

    Before The Ted, Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium was home to the Atlanta Braves until it was demolished in 1997. 

    11. Mike Vick

    Mike Vick: In 2009, the Falcons released the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback amid felony charges of dogfighting, ending an 8-year relationship with the franchise.
    BEN GRAY / BEN.GRAY@AJC.COM

    In 2009, the Falcons released the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback amid felony charges of dogfighting, ending an 8-year relationship with the franchise.

    12. Equitable Building (original)

    Atlanta’s first skyscraper was built in 1892 and demolished in 1971 to make way for the city’s newly emerging, modern skyline

    13. Ponce de Leon Park

    The ballpark was home to the Atlanta Crackers from 1907 until it was demolished in 1966. The site is now the backdrop for the popular Ponce City Market shopping and dining destination.

    14. Tales of the Okefenokee Swamp ride

    Takes of the Okefebokee Swamp ride: The Six Flags Over Georgia ride debuted in 1967and featured scenes from Uncle Remus stories. When vandalism and maintenance proved too big a challenge, the park dismantled the ride in 1980.

    The Six Flags Over Georgia ride debuted in 1967 and featured scenes from Uncle Remus stories. When vandalism and maintenance proved too big a challenge, the park dismantled the ride in 1980.

    15.  Buckhead Village club scene

    The eight acres of clubs and bars used to be the heart of Atlanta nightlife, but a deadly brawl outside Cobalt in 2000, involving the entourage of former Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis, encouraged city leaders to put the kibosh on the raucous scene

    16. Macy’s department store, downtown

    Macy’s department store, downtown: When it was built in 1927 (known as Davison's until 1986), it was the largest department store in the Southeast, but eventually closed its doors in 2003.
    ATLANTACITIZEN / WIKIMEDIA CC 2.0

    When it was built in 1927 (known as Davison's until 1986), it was the largest department store in the Southeast, but eventually closed its doors in 2003.

    17. Georgia 400 toll plazas

    Since the 400 extension opened in 1993, drivers had complained about the 50 cent toll. But, in 2013, collection ended and the toll plazas were torn down.

    18. Atlanta Thrashers

    Atlanta Thrashers: Although the NHL franchise had a relatively short stint in the city (1999 – 2011), the team left a lasting impression on fans.
    JOEY IVANSCO / AJC

    Although the NHL franchise had a relatively short stint in the city (1999 – 2011), the team left a lasting impression on fans

    19. Greenwood’s

    Farm-to-table spot Greenwood’s was known for its fried chicken and other Southern dishes. It opened in Roswell in 1986, but it closed, along with its sister eatery, Swallow at the Hollow, in December 2017.

    20. Airport “Spirit” mural

    The “Spirit of Atlanta” mural: The sizable mural of a girl with outstretched arms and children splashing around in the Centennial Olympic Park fountains at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was covered by an ad for Porsche in 2016.
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    The sizable mural of a girl with outstretched arms and children splashing around in the Centennial Olympic Park fountains at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was covered by an ad for Porsche in 2016.

    This article was written by Stephanie Toone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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