Opened in 1979 as part of the rapid transit line running to Atlanta, the Decatur MARTA Station was a joint venture of the architectural firms of Edwards and Kelsey of Newark, New Jersey and Stevens and Wilkinson of Atlanta. Stations such as this, which are serviced by bus routes, are vital cogs in MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority)—the ninth-largest of the county’s interurban transit systems designed to alleviate traffic congestion.
South of the old Decatur Courthouse, the local rapid transit station at Church and Sycamore Streets has an impressive postmodern appearance.
Authorized by the Georgia legislature in 1965 and founded in 1971, MARTA began as a bus system after purchasing the old Atlanta Transit Company. Five Points is the hub of all MARTA rapid rail stations, having opened its East-West line in 1979 and the North-South in 1981.
Like nearly all MARTA stations, the one at Decatur has a boldly designed roof and serves as a highly visible civic monument. The eastern portal has a glazed shed positioned at a dramatic angle, pictured above. The superstructure is generally uncluttered by billboards and deliberately has little public seating, to discourage loitering. From Decatur Station many commuters begin and end the fastest part of their daily treks.
Dr. Paul Hudson, historian at Georgia Perimeter College, writes stories for the Decatur Dispatch.