Old Fourth Ward, an urban neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, is the birthplace of civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For many years, it has been the first place many visitors flocked to see and to visit the home he grew up in. In fact, the area paid homage to him by creating the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Park and offering visitors the chance to visit the church he preached many of his sermons from, Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Although the area fell into despair during the 1960s, today it has had a resurgence of interest due to the newest developments in the community. There are lots of cool and eclectic specialty shops, bars, restaurants, and art galleries in the Old Fourth Ward district. It is one of the hippest, trendiest neighborhoods in Atlanta that is continuing to attract new residents and developers.
Where is Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta?
Old Fourth Ward borders Piedmont Avenue to the West. The Beltline borders the East part of the neighborhood, Ponce de Leon Avenue to the North, and the Marta Green line to the South. The area is sometimes divided into three distinct areas with Boulevard and Freedom Parkway being used as the dividing lines.
History of Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta
The area of Atlanta known as Old Fourth Ward began to be populated in the 1800s. It was primarily a racially mixed community in the 1890s, but during the 20th century, the face of the neighborhood began to change. An influx of middle class, African Americans began to dominate the area. This was due in part to the businesses they were starting and Morris Brown College; the area’s first independently operated African American college in Georgia.
The neighborhood played a very important part in American history, as it was the home of many famous activists, in addition to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There was also John Wesley Dobbs – political activist, and David Tobias Howard – a civic leader. There were other advocates that fought alongside these most notable activists who also called this part of Atlanta home.
It wasn’t until the 2000s that many of the changes that you see today came into existence. Starting with 2010 when the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail became a reality, the area began to witness some changes that continued to reshape the community. Although at first most of the construction started on the Inman Park side of the beltline, the interest in Old Fourth Ward quickly grew stronger, due to prices being more affordable there.
It has experienced a rapid progression of developments in the area since then, such as new homes, apartments, and condominium complexes. Many of these new developments have retail shops and restaurants located on the ground level. New residents move here because it is also a short distance from many of Atlanta’s other hip and trendy neighborhoods, such as Midtown, Virginia-Highlands, and Inman Park.
Transportation in Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta
There is no actual MARTA station in Old Fourth Ward, but the MARTA Green line does run East and West at the southern tip of the neighborhood. The King Memorial MARTA station is on the Westside and Inman Park/Reynoldstown station can be accessed on the Eastside. West of the neighborhood is the area’s newly developed streetcars, which run the length of the entire area. Despite the lack of a MARTA station, there are MARTA buses located here.
Since Old Fourth Ward is such a trendy neighborhood, you can expect to find the best bars and restaurants, along with interesting street art. The area’s street art can be seen along Decatur St and Edgewood, Ave, and along the Eastside Trail of the beltline. The neighborhood is a mix-use community so you will find many coffee shops, like Condesa Coffee and Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. The latter is known for their locally-roasted coffee which has been served in Atlanta for the past 25 years. Here is where you’ll find many locals gathering to work and socialize.
In an area like Old Fourth Ward, it isn’t unusual to find some of the best food in town since this is where many young chefs come to try out their own creations. You can experience the area’s culinary scene by visiting local restaurants, such as Tiny Lou’s, located in the historic Hotel Clermont, where they serve seasonal American Cuisine with select French Classics. Mary Mac’s Tea Room is also a favorite among those living in Old Fourth Ward, serving up Southern comfort food, such as fried chicken and collard greens. One of the newest restaurants along the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta Beltline is Ladybird, an outdoor bar and dining experience. Another popular restaurant in the area is Home Grown – an unassuming eatery that offers Southern cuisine, such as biscuits and gravy, and fried green tomatoes.
With the Atlanta Beltline in Old Fourth Ward, many residents enjoy getting fit outdoors. However, when this isn’t possible due to the weather, they may find themselves working out at either FitWit or Yoga Works.
Real Estate Snapshot
As one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live in, there is no wonder why the cost of living here is 11% higher than the average Atlanta neighborhood. The median home value in Old Fourth Ward is just over $200,000, which is slightly higher than surrounding communities. Also, since it is considered a mixed-use community, a 1-bedroom will typically cost on average approximately $1,700 per month.
Schools & Employment
There are two elementary schools in the community, Hope Hill Elementary School and The Orion School, a private school. It also has two middle schools, Inman Middle School and The Orion School. The Orion School is known to be an inclusive school that nurtures children with learning and developmental difficulties. To round out the education offered in Old Fourth Ward, there is one high school, Grady High School, serving grades 9-12.
Many residents work nearby in downtown, midtown or the Emory University neighborhoods. For those that work remotely, Alkaloid Networks offers a variety of coworking memberships. With Freedom Parkway conveniently located, access to highways makes major employers such as Delta Airlines and PWC, an easy commute.
If you think Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta might be a neighborhood for you and your family to settle in, why not start your research by visiting RENTCafé where you’ll find plenty of available rentals to choose from.