Monday, October 25, 2010

About Metropolitan Parkway/Stewart Avenue

Until 1997, the corridor that connects the neighborhoods of Adair Park, Pittsburgh, Capitol View, Capitol View Manor and Sylvan Hills on the southwest side of Atlanta and was once THE road south out of Atlanta was called Stewart Avenue. The road was named for Andrew Perry Stewart, who served for over twenty years as the (Fulton) County Tax Collector and was a resident of Capitol View.

Stewart was born in Jackson, Butts County, Georgia on December 14, 1848. His father, Frederick Stewart, served with 6th Georgia Artillery Battalion during the Civil War. A.P. Stewart came to Atlanta shortly after the close of the war, working first for Richardson's then for a hardware concern owned by L. B. Langford. Stewart purchased the hardware business on Whitehall Street upon Langford's retirement and ran that business until 1888, when he sold it to a Mr. Conklin. In 1889, Stewart ran and was elected as county tax collector, a position he held for many years. He was also active politically and served as a representative of the Fifth Ward. Stewart was also a Mason and an Oddfellow, and participated in a variety of civic activities.

Metropolitan Parkway/Stewart Avenue was also formerly: Vine Street, Humphries Street, Kreig Street, New Whitehall Road, and Ocmulgee. Stewart is part of the old Dixie Highway, which runs from Miami to Detroit. Per the Atlanta Constitution, the Dixie Highway was the brainchild of Clark Howell, editor of the paper.

In 1997, Stewart Avenue was renamed Metropolitan Parkway in honor of the college along its corridor. City Council cited that it would give the street, known for prostitutes, strip clubs and drug dealers a clean slate. We all know how well that worked out.

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Notes:
Men of Mark in Georgia, Vol. VI. William J. Northern, LLD, Editor, A.B. Caldwell, Publisher, Atlanta, GA, 1912. p.201-202

"Andrew P. Stewart." The Atlanta Constitution, November 27, 1910, ProQuest Historical Newspapers Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945). p. C8

"Andrew P. Stewart." The Atlanta Constitution, October 23, 1912, ProQuest Historical Newspapers Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945). p. C5

"Dixie Highway Trailblazers Visit Scenes of Effort 20 Years Ago." The Atlanta Constitution, February 21, 1936. ProQuest Historical Newspapers Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945). p. 11

"Many Streets Get New Names." The Atlanta Constitution, October 17, 1903, ProQuest Historical Newspapers Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945). p. 7

"New Name Gives Stewart Avenue a Clean Slate." The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, August 21, 1997. p. D2

3 comments:

  1. I hope someday we can get the name changed back. We change too many names in Atlanta and continue to lose our history. But that's a whole other enchilada!

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  2. I'll throw in some names of hangouts and dive bars that were popular back in the day on Stewart Avenue. Obviously these are my impressions, you may have had different experiences, but the strip was an interesting and exciting place, now replaced with shoe stores, drug stores and parking lots.

    Dale's Food and Spirits (near Cleveland and Stewart), fairly large place, blue collar, good food, jukebox and pool tables. A good place to hang in the afternoon and drink during the week with the regulars, or party on the weekend when it was crowded and the jukebox was going. A Walgreens is there now.

    West Texas Music Club, live country music & dancing (diagonally opposite Dale's at Cleveland/Stewart), one of Atlanta's largest country clubs with a huge bar area. THE country music place to be for many on the Southside.

    Gold Rush Showbar - generic gentleman's club that's been there since the late 70s, a lot of silicon bleached blond strippers, generally not much fun.

    Crystal Palace, happening 70s/early 80s private/after hours club, (hipsters, rednecks, cocaine and champagne) party on when everything else was closed.

    Little Red Caboose (gentleman's club beside I85 access road opposite from Gold Rush). Some very nice country girls worked here, not a lot of the silicon bleached blonds you saw at the Gold Rush. The anti-Gold Club/Cheetah/Gold Rush strip bar.

    Silver Ribbon Club, live country music bar next to (north of) the notorious Alamo Plaza. Smaller and a little rougher than the West Texas. There were a few pay 4 play girls looking to go to the Alamo, but also a normal redneck mix looking to drink beer and dance.

    FJs Tavern, small, dark, dirt parking lot in the back among the trees (the very small front lot was always filled). Bullets known to fly, and a few customers left in body bags (seriously). If you stopped in for a few beers and were cool/laid back, you were welcome and you'd be fine. If you were a mean drunk who mouthed off, at best you could expect to land on your face outside courtesy of the aggressive bouncers.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for this great info. I am going to start publishing again and I think I will start with the history of the Gold Rush, which I stumbled upon while researching Stewart Ave.

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