Ponce & Peachtree - August 2018

Ponce & Peachtree Covering Peachtree, Piedmont, Virginia Highland, Morningside, Little Five Points, & Grant Park • LOCAL, POSITIVE COMMUNITY NEWS H ometown N ews A tlanta Previously Ponce Press and Midtown Messenger Volume 28, No. 8 • AUGUST 2018 Public Art Enhances The Old Fourth Ward The Old Fourth Ward is booming. New hous- ing and restoration/reno- vation of older structures into modernized single family homes, apartments and industrial style con- dos, along with the pro- liferation of restaurants, bars and small shops of all kinds has meant a huge increase in pedestrian “traffic.” Accompanying that growth has been a community awareness of the importance of public art. The bridge over Free- dom Parkway at Highland is a delightful case in point. The concrete pedestrian wall is covered in a bright, lively blue paint and further adorned with folk art style figures, animals and flowers. This artwork cannot help but bring a smile even to the most disgruntled of people passing by. The intersection is also fortunate to have a massive “sculpture” by noted artist Sol LeWitt [1928-2007]. “54 Columns” is a minimalist creation of concrete block pillars of varying heights referencing the city’s skyline. Continued on page 5 Renovation Planned for MLK Jr. Childhood School Academic building as it appeared in Jan. 2018. Closed for more than 40 years, its historic character will be saved. (Vanessa McCray/AJC). August 2018 signals the start of a new year for Atlan- ta Public Schools, and it was back in April that the city Board of Education made another welcome announce- ment for a bright future: the district will commence a 2-year renovation project of Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood school. From 1936 to 1940 young MLK Jr. attended third through sixth grades in the Old Fourth Ward at David T. Howard Elementary School, racially segre- gated according to Jim Crow. It had opened in 1923 on property donated by its namesake. David T. Howard, formerly enslaved, had in the early 1900s become a successful mortician. He later became a millionaire after forming Atlanta’s first black-owned bank and was a leader in the city’s thriving African American busi- ness community. Continued on page 21