Brookwood Railroad Station hovers almost precariously on Peachtree Road over the massive Interstate Connector. It is an elegantly designed reminder of a time long gone for both Atlanta and this part of the city. It was just 100 years ago in March of 1918 that it opened its doors to the public.
Designed by architect Neel Reid, the principle designer for the prestigious firm of Hentz, Reid & Adler, the concrete building was faced with red brick and limestone trim. Separated by brick pilasters, there were three large Palladian entrances/windows facing Peachtree. Topped by a low pitched tile roof, the new sta-tion, called Peachtree Station originally, had a very utilitarian purpose. It was meant to alleviate the over-crowded traffic at Terminal Station in downtown Atlanta. Furthermore, it would accommodate the “citizens of Atlanta” by eliminating their need to travel an hour by car or streetcar to catch a passenger train.
Southern Railroad proclaimed that it showed the company as “progressive” and attuned to the people of Atlanta and “at all times looking toward the betterment of its facilities and for an opportunity to serve” Atlantans. In this case, of course, it was the very wealthy residents of upper Midtown and Brookwood who would most benefit.
Served by five white employees and three African American porters, work began at 3:00 a.m. with the “United States fast mail train.” Bound for New York, it picked up the station’s first passengers. At first, there were seven departures and seven arrivals per day. Seven years later in 1925, 142 passenger trains used the Brookwood Station daily.
Looking almost identical to its appearance in 1918, Brookwood Station is a real survivor. All other At-lanta passenger stations have disappeared as car and airline travel has replaced the railroad. Today, only two Amtrak trains a day utilize this historic gem which also retains its original oak seats with attached lights on its interior.