ATLANTA - Buckhead park called "Atlanta’s family room" turns 75
How do you tell the story of Buckhead’s Chastain Memorial Park?
Do you start with the Cadence Bank Amphitheatre, which has hosted some of the biggest stars in music history? Or maybe you start with the NYO ball fields, which welcome young athletes in the shadow of the city skyline.
Or maybe you start with the tennis center. Or the arts center. Or the pool. Or the horse park. Or The Galloway School.
Clearly, there’s a lot going on inside the massive Atlanta city park. And that’s exactly how it was designed 75 years ago.
"The park was actually built during the WPA, the Works Progress Administration, and the intent was to make a recreation destination that would rival any one in the Southeast," says Rosa McHugh, executive director of the Chastain Park Conservancy.
Designed by landscape architect William Monroe and dedicated as Troy Chastain Memorial Park in September of 1946, the 268-acre park became an immediate gathering place for the community. But nobody could have predicted the explosion in visitation that would be caused by a global pandemic.
"Our trashcan pickup went from twice a week to seven days a week," says Conservancy board chair David Miles. "So, that shows you the amount of people that are here."
That means the work of the Chastain Park Conservancy has gone into overdrive. The nonprofit’s mission is to restore, enhance, maintain, and preserve the park.
"We planted 4,500 daffodils last fall. We planted 270 daylilies along the path three weeks ago," says Miles. "During the next few months, we're just focused on beautification."
So, for the Conservancy, the story of Chastain Memorial Park really begins now; not in what the park was 75 years ago, but in what it can be today and for the next 75 years.
"This is a very, very unique and diverse crowd that uses this park. I mean, we get all walks of life. We get walkers and exercisers and musicians and artists and kids and kids and kids," says Miles.
Adds McHugh, "One of our past vice-chairs says this is 'Atlanta's family room.’"
For more information on the Chastain Park Conservancy and a map of the park, click here.
Stanley Nelson talks "Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre":
Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson is today’s leading documentarian of the African-American experience. He is commemorating the 100th anniversary of one of the worst acts of racial violence in U.S. history (that is largely unknown to many Americans) with his two-hour documentary "Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre."
In the 1920s, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, also known as Black Wall Street, was one of the most prosperous African-American communities in the United States. Filled with booming businesses and thriving entrepreneurs, the district served as a mecca of Black ingenuity and promise, until the evening of May 31, 1921, which marked the start of the devastating Tulsa Race Massacre. More than 35 city blocks were burned to the ground and hundreds of Black city dwellers were killed.
The documentary premiers Sunday, May 30 at 8 p.m. on History Channel. Click here for more information.
Luke James talks season 4 of Showtime's hit drama "The Chi" and more:
Luke James reprises his role as Trig, the older brother of Jake. This season, Jake, Papa, and Kevin confront the harsh reality of how the world views young, Black men in the aftermath of an act of police brutality. As the three friends reckon with a broken system, the aftershocks ripple across the South Side, inspiring friends and neighbors to rise up and take action. You can watch "The Chi" Sunday nights at 9 on Showtime. Watch the trailer for this season here.
Christal Jordan talks the latest on Lamar Odom's feelings about the Kardashians:
The two-time NBA champion recently did an interview and mentioned how he does miss the Kardashian family. He admitted that he doesn't really speak with the family any longer due to some bad decisions that he's made. Christal Jordan gives her thoughts on where they stand. You can keep up with Christal on social media @enchantedpr.
Pet of the day from the Atlanta Humane Society: For more information on how you can adopt today's pet of the day click here.