Widely recognized as one of the most unique commercial districts in Atlanta , the area known as Little Five Points has a rich and varied history dating back to the late 19th Century. The development of Little Five Points began with the effort of Joel Hurt and Samuel M. Inman to create a residential suburb in what is now known as Inman Park .
In 1866, Joel Hurt sold his insurance company and joined with Samuel M. Inman, a cotton merchant, to form the East Atlanta Land Company. Included among the goals of the company was the development of Inman Park as a residential suburb of Atlanta . Mr. Hurt felt that successful achievement of this goal depended on quality transportation. Towards this end, the Atlanta & Edgewood Street Railroad Company was founded. The electric railroad, Atlanta 's first, opened on August 22, 1889 . To provide a road for the tracks, a new street was created expressly for that purpose: Edgewood Avenue . The tracks were then extended to Clifton Road , in what at the time was the town of Edgewood . Today known as the Candler Park , Edgewood was incorporated into the city of Atlanta in 1908. Shortly thereafter, what is now Little Five Points was born as a commercial area.
By the mid 1930s, Little Five Points became a thriving shopping area. Businesses relied on and served the surrounding neighborhoods and both prospered together. The development continued in the 1940s and 1950s. At one time there were three grocery stores (Kroger, Colonial and A&P;), four drugstores, three barbershops, three movie theatres (The Palace, The Euclid and the Little Five Points) and several dining establishments. Then in the 1960s, various factors, including racial integration and the razing of homes for the proposed Stone Mountain Freeway, led to many families leaving Atlanta . The result was a period of decline for the Little Five Points area. By the 1970s, Little Five Points was in a state of deterioration. Two of the theatres were boarded up and in disrepair; the third was being utilized as a drug rehabilitation facility. Many shops stood vacant and the area had developed a reputation as a seedy gathering place for people engaged in violent and illegal activities.
Two forces combined to revitialize Little Five Points: One was a 1975 Atlanta Community Development Block Grant. The other was the entrepreneurial actions of community-oriented businesses. In 1974 Charis Books was opened as an alternative book store; in 1975 Sevananda opened as a health food cooperative grocery. The BOND Federal Credit Union, founded in 1974, was one of the first community-based credit unions to form and is now a thriving financial institution. Another force for renewal was the Little Five Points Community Pub which in 1977 took over the space occupied by the Redwood Lounge, a bar previously known for its fights and prostitution. The Pub became a center for community gatherings and artistic events. Seven Stages Theatre was another early arrival, beginning first in 1979 in a part of the space later occupied by the Point.
Several development projects were also accomplished by community-based investors. The Intown Development Corporation purchased and renovated eight store fronts in 1975 which included the future site for the Little Five Points Pub and BOND Credit Union. In 1977 the three story building now known as the Point Center Building was purchased and renovated by the Point Center Corporation. This project, spearheaded by Kelly Jordan, developed the street level as retail shops and the second floor as medical and professional offices.
The first new construction in Litte Five Points in thirty years occurred in 1981 when the Little Five Points Partnership developed the Little Five Points food center and the shopping center at 484 Moreland Avenue . Shortly thereafter, two vacant theatres on the verge of being demolished by the owner were saved through the intervention of Mayor Maynard Jackson, and were leased to the Little Five Points Partnership. Upon renovation, the former Little Five Points Theatre opened as the Dancers' Collective and later became the home of Seven Stages Theatre. The former Euclid Theatre opened as the George Ellis Cinema and later became the Variety Playhouse.
Today, Little Five Points is a success story with thriving cultural, entertainment, professional and commercial enterprises. It's development is based on the belief that the present success is just the beginning and that much more remains to be accomplished. Related Links: l5p.com and patweb.com
Little Five Points is a thriving community of diverse inhabitants and unique businesses. L5P means great restaurants, live theater and musical performances. Every lifestyle accouterment or body adornment imaginable can be found here in variety. Here you'll also find the coolest clothes and the best neighborhood bars in the city. We even have our own community radio station, WRFG 89.3 FM. It's a business community, a neighborhood, and inarguably the coolest spot on the map between Greenwich Village and the French Quarter. From a bohemian hangout with a cheap poolroom, our neighborhood has grown into a rich mix of art, theater, and commerce. It's a tasty tossed salad embracing every lifestyle imaginable from Rasta to Gothic, and we welcome you. The neighborhood organization site is a guide to L5P business, but it's more than that. Like our neighborhood, it's a cultural excursion and a destination in itself. It was designed with fun in mind. Use the navigation to the left or the site map to see what's where. See you in the square! Peace! Some information provided by http://www.l5p.com/ and Little Five Points Business Association from Greater Little Five Points Planning Study http://www.patweb.com/l5p