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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Walking the Beltline part 1

Yesterday, a group of us from Creative Loafing met up with Beltline advocate/guru Angel Poventud for the first in a series of walks along the proposed 22-mile loop of park, trails and transit. We hiked the 4-plus miles of trails south from Amsterdam Walk near Piedmont Park to Memorial Drive at the Glenwood Connector.

Some thoughts/musings from folks on the walk:

Chad Radford, staff music writer: "What’s most striking about the Beltine is that it offers a straight, logical path across town — too logical for the modern streetscape that causes us all so much frustration every day. Sections of town that require, long, winding drives, are really only a matter of yards away from each other on the Beltline, and after walking down just a small section of the tracks, Atlanta seems to make a whole lot more sense. It’s frustrating to think that this route has been here for more than 100 years, and some sections even date back as far as the Civil War, yet it has been totally forgotten. It’s even more frustrating to learn about all of the neighborhood associations that are fighting its progress."

Rodney Carmichael, music editor: "The history on Masquerade was cool. I remember when it was a club called Excelsior Mill but had no idea that name dated back to 1890 when it was an actual mill where packing materials were made."

Last February, the Beltline sent out an open call for proposals for public art along the loop. They received 178 submissions for visual and performance art, says Poventud, and will announce the 40 or so winners next week. Currently, tons of graffiti, Beltline art signs, and murals adorn surfaces along the route. Here are a few photos of some of the art we saw along the walk yesterday.

4-GhostGraf

WHOSE BELTLINE? This writing showed up, says Poventud, after the city (not in conjunction with the Beltline) painted over some graffiti under a bridge near 10th and Monroe.

5-Hense

ART SIGNS: Thanks to a project orchestrated by Poventud and WonderRoot, art signs like this one appear along the Beltline at public rights of way.

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Bridge straddling Ponce at City Hall East

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5-Hense-500x375.jpg

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PHASE 1: Construction on a new, water-neutral park in the Historic Fourth Ward to include a water retention pond and amphitheater

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Looking back (north) along the path toward City Hall East

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Angel Poventud

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Makeshift skate park behind Willoughby Way in the Old Fourth Ward. A groundbreaking will take place here Sunday for the construction of a new, professionally designed skate park.

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Brandon Sadler's Irwin Street mural

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View down the path toward DeKalb Avenue

(Photos by Debbie Michaud)

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