(This article was previously posted, but has been updated as noted)
Ideally, Atlanta would be located on a large body of water.
It gets really HOT here. Anyone who has lived here has lusted for a local beachfront.
Well, flash forward to 2013. We are getting a new iconic Atlanta Falcons stadium and the neighborhood to the west has needed help for around a century. The Proctor Creek area is low, prone to flooding and is the headwater for a substantial amount of the pollution that goes into the Chattahoochee River.
The Proctor Creek would be an ideal place to create Lake Atlanta.
It would provide a reservoir for water which is highly needed. It could provide a new happy outlook for the always downtrodden westside and a great place for swimming, boating, fishing, and sunbathing- that intown Atlanta has always needed. Who wants to drive to Lake Lanier or Allatoona? The west side has historic and beautiful Westview Cemetery, the historic West End neighborhood including the famous Wren House, and the Atlanta University district with Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark-Atlanta Universities.
My proposal would combine the newly planned Bellwood Quarry Park with Maddox Park (seriously, do we need a park named after one of the most racist mayors of Atlanta?), Mozely Park and Washington Park– building a megapark with a lake from I-20 West on the south to J.E.Boone/Simpson/Ivan Allen, Jr. Blvd on the north end and would run alongside the Atlanta BeltLine westside trail and lightrail line.
The soon-to-open Atlanta Streetcar would be extended up Marietta Street and from along North Avenue from the new park to the Eastside BeltLine. Northside Drive, J. Boone/Simpson/Ivan Allen Blvd., J. Lowery Blvd., and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive would be redesigned for improved traffic and quality streetscaping.
One of the postcard perfect parts of the redevelopment would be an iconic King Memorial Bridge over Lake Atlanta. Also, a nice design element could be the MARTA trains emerging from the middle of the lake as this is where the subway becomes an above ground heavy rail train.
Some homes would be replaced with good affordable housing, and the benefits for the neighborhood would be enormous with excellent connectivity to the rest of Atlanta and community needs accounted for.
To see the plan, click the link below:
Update 3/5/2016: Design Development
To assist a Georgia State University urban design graduate student, I produced this urban design development of the Lake Atlanta Reservoir Proposal.
Townhouses, condominiums, and apartment buildings surround, while the new Atlanta Civic Center would be built at the northern apex of the lake– easily accessible west from Midtown from Ivan Allen/Ralph McGill Blvd., along Joseph E Boone Blvd NW. The Atlanta BeltLine is shown in red along the east side of the community.
Just north of I-20 from historic West End, Lake Atlanta would be a landmark from the highway, offering great views of the newly iconic Martin Luther King, Jr. Free At Last Bridge.
Brick townhomes over retail/restaurants at street level with glassy offices above front Chicamauga Ave SW, a new lakefront street, and Westview Drive SW which parallels the highway.
Multiple public plazas and a 3 mile long beach encircling the lake are amenities to the community and the city.
Martin Luther King Jr. Drive crosses Lake Atlanta Reservoir over an iconic cable-stayed bridge. MARTA’s heavy rail will emerge from underground halfway across the 1.25 mile long lake. A manmade island constructed over the existing MARTA tunnel will provide a world-class swim resort destination for the neighborhood and tourists alike.
Grocery stores, neighborhood retail would be balanced with office buildings and residential around the new Atlanta Civic Center, which is just south of the planned new Westside Park at the old Bellwood Quarry.
- With the Beltline, Atlanta Wants to Become a New City (dirt.asla.org)
- Most Unique Neighborhoods in Atlanta (apartmentguide.com)
- Beltline wins federal grant (bizjournals.com)