Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hotel Row

Pynchon's getting really mathematical on me, to the point where I'm having to read some paragraphs three times to get even the most basic understanding of what's going on, so despite 30-degree temperatures I put the book down and headed out this morning, to take some shots of a desolate little remnant of Atlanta's history.

The one-block stretch of Mitchell between Spring Street and Forsyth is known as "Hotel Row" -- though you wouldn't be able to (or most likely, want to) find any lodging there now. It's actually got the "Historic District" designation -- the buildings are all pretty much as they were originally.

The Scoville -- shown above -- is the highlight now, at least for people like me, with that great old sign, and apparently, a kind of cool interior (it's padlocked, and I can't imagine that even if I could get a hold of whoever runs it now, they'd let me in to snap a few photos). It's got a real seedy flophouse look (again, more aesthetically than practically pleasing), and a bit of odd fame -- it's the setting for this Rolling Stones video. The sign's visible in the opening scene. Turn the volume down, the song sucks.





The building on the corner is pretty cool (both those shots are taken from Forsyth Avenue) -- I guess, judging by the sign, it was the Star Hotel ... though neither Google nor Lexis/Nexis turns up anything about the place. I love the detail, and the blocked-off doors and windows.




Now, Mitchell Street isn't much of a tourist destination. There's a bunch of hotels a bit to the north for the conventioneers, and there's no real nightlife in the area (though I was offered something of uncertain provenance while wandering around today). There's a few businesses getting by now, most with cheerful signs up telling people "SMILE FOR THE CAMERA! You're being filmed."



All the hotels are on the north side of the street. The entire south side is taken up by this monolith -- no clue what it is or what it was or how long it's been there. Those blocked-off arches down at the bottom might indicate one-time storefronts, but really, the whole thing's just too ugly for me to worry about.

2 comments:

Jewell said...

Hey - nice blog. It makes me miss Atlanta a little.
Used to live on Mitchell St - that giant thing on the other side used to be a Bank of America and now this is supposed to be in the works: http://www.222mitchellstreet.com/ - just FYI

Thanks for all the pix! I feel like I know exactly where most of your images are from!

visit us sometimes @ frolab.com - peace.

BIg Vision said...

YES, MITCHELL ST., A SPECIAL PLACE, WHERE SOME VERY TALENTED INDIVIDUALS CAME TOGETHER TO GIVE BIRTH TO THE MITCHELL ST CREW. J-SUN, H2O, AUDESSEY,COGNITO,CAMRON,BIG VON (BIG VISION)SPEARHEAD X ,AND A HOST OF OTHER KEY PLAYERS, LIKE KEEN ONE, KEENE, KLEVER,BINKIS, SONNY C(CRAWFISH)FACE(HARDHEADED), HIGH POWERED T,(R.I.P) AND COUNTLESS OTHERS VISITED ON THE REGULAR ADDING ONTO OR SOAKING UP THE VIBE. MITCHELL ST WILL ALWAYS HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART, NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE BONDS FORMED WITH THE KATS I JUST MENTIONED.

MITCHELL ST. TO ME WAS A VORTEX OF CREATIVE ENERGY. WHEN EVER I TURNED THAT CORNER I WAS INSTANTLY IN MY ZONE. MUSIC,ART OR JUST DISCUSSING CURRENT EVENTS TOOK ON A COLORFUL TONE AMONGST THE MINDS ON MITCHELL ST. THIS IS THE PLACE I HONED MY SKILL AS A RECORDING ARTIST, THE PLACE WHERE I LEARNED FROM ONE OF THE GREATEST VISUAL ARTIST I KNOW. THE PLACE WHERE I LEARNED A DEEPER APPRECIATION FOR HIP HOP AND CULTIVATED MY INDEPENDENT SPIRIT. THIS IS THE PLACE I GOT TO CHILL WITH LEGENDS LIKE DJ PREMIER, BOBITO, MASEO(DE LA SOUL),AND OTHERS. I FIRST HIT MITCHELL ST. AT 17 YEARS OLD, SO IN SOME WAYS IT WAS A RITE OF PASSAGE FOR ME, FROM ADDOLECENSE INTO MANHOOD.

THEY SAY EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON AND I KNOW ITS TRUE. AND EVEN THOUGH I DON'T GET TO TALK TO EVERYBODY ON A REGULAR BASIS I AM HAPPY TO HAVE BEEN APART OF A TIME THAT WILL ALWAYS HOLD A PLACE IN MY HEART. ONE TIME FOR MITCHELL ST. TWO TIMES FOR THE MITCHELL ST. CREW. THREE TIMES FOR ALL THE SPACE CASES... VISION GONE.