Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Atlanta 1980

My first trip to Atlanta from Chicago was in 1980. Looking back, it's amazing how things have changed! Witness:

1. The present Hartsfield-Jackson airport was not yet in service. The old airport was full of cream and teal floor tiles and said "1960" out loud.

2. There was a club in Buckhead in which a magician worked behind the bar, doing cigarette and smoke tricks.

3. Lenox Square Mall was in a fairly quiet location. It looked like a suburb.

4. Perimeter Mall was somewhat dowdy, with brightly-colored pendant lights in primary colors hanging from the ceiling. A dirt road led to the Marriott hotel, and cows grazed in pastures at Ashford-Dunwoody and I-285.

5. The Fox Hotel had just been saved from demolition, but the area was fairly empty.

6. Two of the most popular restaurants in town were The Mansion and The Abbey.

7. "The Connector" as we know it (I-75/I-85) did not exist. The expressway that did go through downtown was two lanes in each direction.

8. Atlanta Underground was hanging by a thread due to rampant street crime.

9. Georgia 400 was two lanes in each direction, and there was no section between I-285 and downtown Atlanta. Holcomb Bridge Road (exit 7A now) was the end of civilization as we know it.

10. There were two Home Depot stores in existence nationwide, and both were in Atlanta.

My, how things have changed, eh?