Another beautiful day, at 59 degrees it was about 20 degrees warmer than the previous Saturday Beltline walk. 134 people strong we set out through Reynolds Town, a neighborhood where buildings are beginning to percolate with fresh young energy and saw the first Beltline tracks of the day at Wylie Street SE. The first massing: as our ever able guide Angel explained from a standing rail ladder relic, the beltline had to go off rail again ahead and that the Eye Drum contemporary art, music and new media was being reinstalled into an old building east of where we were standing.
Then a bridge over I-20 on Bill Kennedy Way, which used to be tracks but was turned into a trucking corridor/road. The Beltline folks convinced DOT not to continue it further than it is presently, stopping at Glenwood Ave, and saving the Beltline project. So we traveled through environmentally friendly Glenwood Park (also see Chapter 10 in Sustainable Urbanism by Douglas Farr, 2008), across Glenwood Ave and had a 2nd massing under the Berne Street underpass. Perched above us was a cool iconoclastic house by Carlos Tardio and Mary Clare DeReuil.
The hikers included people from every neighborhood: Ansley Park, Inman Park, Druid Hills, Reynolds Town, Central Atlanta Neighborhood, 4th Ward (where i live) and more. There were people from Trees Atlanta on a botanical review and a young lady with her very relaxed 1 year old son in a papoose. He was too little for them to go family kayaking with his Dad but they make kayaks for little kids so it won't be long! An interior designer from Ansley Park enjoyed bicycling and had logged in as a sustainable c0mmuter 60% at the Ga Clean Air Campaign. An investor was speculating how much value was being added to the homes lucky enough to be on the Beltline before it became the Beltline. 6 or 7 hikers were enjoying exercising with their dogs on such a fine day and a soon-to-be fine path. And then there were the 100 curious and sagacious architecture freshman and professors referencing it all for future ideas and projects.
The scenery in the first 1/3 was mostly multifamily and some single family residential. In the mid 1/3 there was 1040 Lofts, a chicken farm and the Boulevard Crossing Park site, one of the nine park “jewels” originally identified by the nationally-renowned urban designer Alex Garvin in his “Emerald Necklace”. Kudzu dies back in the winter but it is said in warmer weather there are 10 or more goats on kudzu patrol in this area.
The sapient students took a side excursion into a deserted industrial complex through an abandoned (fabrication?) shop. In a voluminous courtyard distinctive graffiti art by Swarmee stood out . After exiting back unto the Beltline corridor we went under a beautiful 100% stone and brick bearing (no steel) early 20th century bridge, over several interstitial trestle and tie rail bridges, and past the MAD SOCIETY KINGS (grafitti artists from LA?) beyond which the view to the Georgia Dome and city core is absolutely galvanic.
Soon after we exited unto Lee Street and took Marta back to our beginning point. Great walk!
SE-SW Beltline Walk Jan 29 2011: