I started the website to mourn the loss of Terminal Station, an Atlanta legend.
Designed by architect Philip Thornton Marye and built in 1905, the Renaissance revival station would host as many as 80 trains per day. As Eisenhower’s highways tore through postwar downtown, Terminal Station would remain a rally point for multiple Georgia railroads.
And though the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) was not formed until an act of the 1965 Georgia Assembly, it was buses only; it would not offer commuter rail service until the summer of 1979.
During that period, Terminal Station was tragically destroyed by the state, just a few short years before construction would begin on MARTA’s new transit lines.
On the site today sits an International-style federal courthouse, named for a known segregationist. Just to the north, across Martin Luther King Jr Dr, lies the Gulch.
If you live in Atlanta, you know what the Gulch is, so named for the giant hole in the ground created by the street viaducts that bridge the crisscrossing railroads. You might have tailgated this lot before a Falcons or United game at nearby Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Maybe you were heading to State Farm Arena for the Hawks.
Whatever the reason, game day parking wouldn’t bring in as much tax revenue as a development, and the city longed to do something with the empty parcel.
In 2012, the Gulch itself was the subject of a transit study by the Obama administration, and architecture firm FXCollaborative produced this utopian video of the Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal, or MMPT.
There was no new construction.
For a while, The Gulch was even rumored to be Amazon’s HQ2 location, plans which seemed abandoned after 2018.
Then a few years ago, under Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a deal was made with CIM Group, an ill-defined L.A.-based developer with ties to the Kushner family. Their bid is to build “Centennial Yards,” a $5B private mini-city for the rich. Think Buckhead Village.
Financially, the deal is a huge loss to Atlanta Public Schools, whose coffers are looted of hundreds of millions in order to finance the project.
When APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen tried to stick up for the school budget, her contract was not renewed.
Etymologically, the Centennial Yards name is hard to connect to Atlanta in this millennium. The 100-year anniversary of the Olympic Games was here, but it was also 30 years ago. We don’t say “Hotlanta” either.
Save The Gulch!
To preserve the site and rebuild a 21st-century Terminal Station requires a confluence of many different disciplines and careful input from every corner of our Beloved Community.
It would be Atlanta’s most impactful infrastructure since the original railroads or the interstate highways. More importantly, a new grand terminal will increase regional mobility and reduce our city’s record income inequality.
This website is created:
- to educate the public about the history of Terminal Station as it relates to the Gulch and the contract failure.
- to preserve the Gulch and the old railroad wye, demolition of which would represent an “irreparable loss” to the city under the Atlanta City Code. (sec. 16-20.004)
- to redesign the Gulch as Terminal Station 2.0 to serve both new and existing MARTA transit lines.
- to promote construction from the site of Terminal Station 2.0:
Names and lines subject to change
The Atlanta Northern to Marietta
The Atlanta Western to Douglasville
The Atlanta Southwestern to Vine City and Union City
The Atlanta Eastern to Stone Mountain and Covington
The Atlanta Southeastern to East Point and Jonesboro
The Atlanta Southern to South Atlanta and Stockbridge
- to restart the economic engine of South Downtown, including historic Hotel Row.
- to follow the Atlanta City Design and to ensure our elected officials do the same.
Updated Mar 6