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Photos: The Transformation of Historic Fourth Ward Park

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In homage to the Old Fourth Ward's former post-industrial tire dump



In a city like Atlanta that's incessentally burning toward the future — in the past, as now — it's easy to lose perspective on the way things were just a few years ago. Especially when the built environment of today, in some cases, is almost incomprehensibly different than, say, October 2008.

That's when Beltline officials and city leaders gathered for a groundbreaking and declared that 35 acres of "blighted industrial lowland" in the shadow of the Masquerade and what's become Ponce City Market would be transformed into Historic Fourth Ward Park.

Sure, the park has taken lumps for helping trigger Atlanta's infatuation with cookie-cutter — if not "Early Soviet Bloc" — apartments, and for eventually booting a timeworn institution like the Masquerade to more hardscrabble pastures. But does anyone really miss what was replaced, in the first place?

In honor of Renovation Week, have a gander below at Google Street View images from November 2007 against some current park photos. Expect a broader look at Atlanta park renovations, reclamations, and reinventions later this week, but this particular park project is worthy of a spotlight all its own.