As a rivulet running, sinking now,
and now again to the surface rising,
A ceaseless thought, a varied train—lo,
soul, to thee, thy sight,
The plans, the voyages again, the expeditions;
Again Vasco de Gama sails forth,
Again the knowledge gain’d,
the mariner’s compass,
Lands found and nations born,
thou born America,
For purpose vast, man’s long probation fill’d,
Thou rondure of the world at last accomplish’d."
the pure sky, the level
sand in the distance,
I pass swiftly the picturesque groups,
the workmen gather’d,
The gigantic dredging machines.
In one again, different,
(yet thine, all thine, O soul, the same,)
I see over my own continent the
Pacific railroad surmounting every barrier,
I see continual trains of cars winding
along the Platte carrying
freight and passengers,
I hear the locomotives rushing and roaring,
and the shrill steam-whistle,
I hear the echoes reverberate through
the grandest scenery in the world"
‘This Zero Mile Post marks the Southeastern Terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad, about which a settlement grew and eventually became Atlanta. This railroad, to Chattanooga, TN, was built, and still is owned by the State of Georgia. It was authorized by the State Legislature December 21, 1836. The route was surveyed by Colonel Stephen Harriman Long, Chief Engineer, May 12, 1837 to November 3, 1840. Construction began March, 1838. The original terminus was between the present Forsyth and Magnolia Streets. It was moved here in 1842. The settlement which sprang up was called Terminus. It was incorporated as the town of Marthasville, December 23, 1843. The name was changed to Atlanta, December 29, 1847. It was incorporated as the City of Atlanta, December 29, 1847, with corporate limits extending one mile in every direction from the State Depot which was between here and what is now Pryor Street. The railroad placed mile posts beginning here in 1850. A new City Charter approved February 28, 1874 redefined the corporate limits as a circle one mile and a half in every direction from this mile post.’
HOK’s Plan for the Green Line Redevelopment Corridor preceeded and informed FXFOWLE + Cooper Carry’s Proposal for the MultiModal Passenger Terminal (MMPT) of this year (see previous). HOK’s design considers the urban form of the entire corridor and northern part of the Gulch, while the latter proposal considers mainly the incorporation of the various transportation systems into the hub. This development is one of the most complex in the history of Atlanta, and needs to be analyzed and critiqued heavily.
After nearly sixty years of operation, the second Union Station was demolished and replaced by McDonald & Company’s third Union Station. Containing a dramatic Greek-revival front portico, it sat on the same site as the previous two stations, due west of the current Five Points MARTA Station. Both the Union and Terminal Station were demolished around 1972, although the site former has remained vacant from development until the present. Currently, HOK and FXFOWLE / Cooper Carry have been hired by two separate governmental entities to consider the future of the railroad corridor, the gulch, and a Multimodal Passenger Transportation hub. As some of the most prime and undeveloped real estate in Atlanta, this site remains as one of the most dynamic and pivotal in the history of the city.
Previously explored here, P. Thornton Marye’s Terminal Station expanded the arrival and departure rail network of downtown extensively, and supplanted Max Corput’s Reconstruction Union Station of 1871 as the principal rail hub. It originally contained ‘a train shed that had originally been built along side the head house, but that was torn down in 1925.’ Inspired by Beaux-Arts eclecticism, the design is a hybrid of Italianate and Spanish Colonial Revival. This station remained highly popular, both aesthetically and functionally, until the rise of the automobile and suburbanization crippled the railroad industry in favor of the construction of massive interstate highways. It was demolished around 1972 and replaced with the neo-modernist, generic behemoth Richard B. Russell Federal Building in 1979.