Success Story - Mechanicsville
Mechanicsville sits in the shadow of both downtown Atlanta and Turner Field. The neighborhood is bounded by I-20 on the north, the downtown connector (I-75/85) on the east, and the Southern Railway lines on the south and west.
Mechanicsville is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Atlanta. The neighborhood sprung up in the late 1800’s adjacent to several railroad lines just south of downtown. The name "Mechanicsville" comes from the "mechanics" that worked on the railway lines. Mechanicsville was once a vibrant, multi-ethnic community with working class blacks (many of whom worked on the railroad) and middle class whites, who lived in Mechanicsville to be close to downtown. The neighborhood was once home to several of the prominent merchant families, including the Rich’s.
The neighborhood declined with the urban renewal, migration to the suburbs, and the construction of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and Interstate I-20 and I-75/85. The city of Atlanta has targeted the area for revitalization.
In 1995, the City of Atlanta worked with the community residents to adopt a Community Redevelopment Plan for the area. The main streets of the neighborhood received decorative sidewalks, lighting and landscaped median sin preparation for 1996 Olympics. In 1998, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved nearly $6 million to serve as seed money for revitalization.
The primary neighborhood organization is the Mechanicsville Civic Association. This group works closely with SUMMECH, the neighborhood CDC, to develop and implement strategies for revitalization of the neighborhood.
In preparation for the 1996 Olympics, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) and the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority (MAOGA) had an idea that new housing units on a street leading into the Mechanicsville community would be an added benefit. SUMMECH, ANDP, ACOG and MAOGA, collaborated to develop “The Street of Dreams” - a collection of housing units that represented the first new residential construction in Mechanicsville in more than 30 years.
Columbia Mechanicsville, a development of 500 mixed-income apartment units, is collaboration with the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) and Columbia Residential. It is built on land that previously housed one of the City’s oldest public housing projects previously known as McDaniel Glenn