With the unexpected announcement that the Braves will leave the Atlanta neighborhood of Summerhill for suburban Cobb County, many in the city are left to speculate what will become of the Turner Field complex after the Braves make their departure. Shortly after the news broke on November 11th, Mayor Kasim Reed alluded to future redevelopment plans for Turner Field. In a statement quoted by Creative Loafing, Reed noted that “over the next three years, we will be working with our prospective partners to bring residential and business development that is worthy of our city and strengthens our downtown.” As city officials contemplate the future of this large area just south of downtown, it is important to remember that 60 years ago, before Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field were built, the entire space was once a neighborhood complete with a mixture of residential and business structures.
This photo essay (in this case more of a map essay) uses a selection of maps from the 1940s to the 1990s to chronicle the redevelopment of almost 50 percent of Summerhill from what was once a densely populated neighborhood – which was seamlessly connected to downtown – to that of a sparsely populated neighborhood, which is now geographically isolated from downtown due to the construction of several highways and an immense parking lot. In each of these maps, the yellow rectangle represents the actual space occupied by the Turner Field complex. Click on each map for a higher resolution image.