Atlanta was founded in 1837 as the end of the Western & Atlantic railroad line (it was first named Marthasville in honor of the then-governor’s daughter, nicknamed Terminus for its rail location, and then changed soon after to Atlanta, the feminine of Atlantic — as in the railroad).
Today the fast-growing city remains a transportation hub, not just for the country but also for the world: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport is one of the nation’s busiest in daily passenger flights. Direct flights to Europe, South America, and Asia have made metro Atlanta easily accessible to the more than 1,000 international businesses that operate here and the more than 50 countries that have representation in the city through consulates, trade offices, and chambers of commerce. The city has emerged as a banking center and is the world headquarters for 13 Fortune 500 companies.
Atlanta is a regional, national, and international metropolis for business and industry, science and technology, as well as arts and culture.
For more than four decades Atlanta has been linked to the civil rights movement. Civil Rights leaders moved forward, they were the visionaries who saw a new south, a new Atlanta. They believed in peace. They made monumental sacrifices for that peace. And because of them Atlanta became a fast-pace modern city which opened its doors to the 1996 Olympics.
In the past two decades Atlanta has experienced unprecedented growth — the official city population remains steady, at about 420,000, but the metro population has grown in the past decade by nearly 40%, from 2.9 million to 4.1 million people. A good measure of this growth is the ever-changing downtown skyline, along with skyscrapers constructed in the Midtown, Buckhead, and outer perimeter (fringing I-285) business districts.
Since the late 1970s dozens of dazzling skyscrapers designed by such luminaries as Philip Johnson, I. M. Pel, and Marcel Breuer have reshaped the city’s profile. Twenty-first Century, in Atlanta, history is being written…