Thursday, February 08, 2007

Shocker in Blandtown

Caution: photo-heavy post

Atlanta's got a lot of little neighborhoods that don't appear on maps, and rarely referred to in current times. Blandtown is one of those -- I'd never heard about it before coming across a reference in something from decades past.

It's now a neglected and forgotten area, despite proximity to some heavily-trafficked streets. References are scant -- I'm still wondering what prompted the rather odd name, but here's a bit of history, as well as some insight into its current problems.

I took a drive over there today, and was pretty amazed at the level of abandonment in the small parts I viewed -- I didn't see any signs of habitation in any of the houses. Some of them looked like Katrina-aftermath scenes. I've seen some run-down parts of Atlanta, but few that looked so completely abandoned.

Not far away, on Huff, right off of Howell Mill, there's an abandoned school, John P. Whittaker Elementary. A little research turns up the details that it closed in 1974, but the building continued to be used by private organizations for the next 30 years. Now, it reminded me most of the school in one of the Tony Hawk games. Anyway, I stopped in and shot a few photos, wandering the grounds.


Nanuk of the North said...

I don't understand this. Somebody has to own the land these abandoned properties stand on. Why don't people buy them up and construct new neighbourhoods?

As far as I know we don't have "abandoned" neighbourhoods around here. As soon as a place goes down-hill, real estate speculators grab the land, and the places become "gentrified".

We can all sneer at the yuppies but that has to be better than Blandtown! How sad.

gsdgsd13 said...

Remember that this is coming from someone who knows nothing about real estate and little about Atlanta politics, but my guess is: there's just such a glut of developments in Atlanta now. Just about every old warehouse/mill not already destroyed or converted to something else has become/is becoming lofts -- and many of those are in more desirable areas.

Plus, and I won't pretend to totally know what I'm talking about here -- but Blandtown is apparently now zoned for industrial use, and no new houses can be built. (There was a plant of some sort right nearby) I can't imagine that would prevent much of a barrier for motivated developers, but for poorer Atlantans who might want to build something there, it's probably not something they can get around.

kj said...

I just noticed blandtown on Google.maps and googled it to try and find out more info-- found your blog. Thanks for the info and pics. Atlanta has so many forgotten areas that sit idle and neglected-- kind of weird but fun to explore. I live close to there and will definitely have to head over and check the area out.