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Near Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium, landmark old house gets new life

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Community space recalls neighborhood matriarch Mattie Freeland and carries on her legacy

A tiny, derelict shotgun house.
The house as of last year.
Google Maps

While the mega Mercedes-Benz Stadium hurries toward completion along Northside Drive, overlooking the long overlooked Westside, a tiny project in the colossus’ shadow is racing toward a far less heralded but equally inspirational ribbon-cutting.

A small old house in English Avenue, formerly home to neighborhood matriarch “Miss Mattie,” is being transformed into the Mattie Freeland Community Home.

It’s the latest bright spot to emerge in the neighborhood and nearby Vine City following pledges of investment by Falcons’ brass and their government and corporate counterparts.

Thanks to the work of Freeland’s church family, contributions from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and support from HHRM—the joint venture building the stadium—the home will soon serve as a community space for families in the neighborhood.

According to Dawn Wessinger, operations and control manager for HHRM, the home will carry on the legacy of a woman “who watched over the neighborhood children, providing a safe couch to sleep on, an after-school gathering place for youth in need, and much more.”

In addition to a community space, the project also includes a large new park and garden on the adjacent block, which was created in partnership with Park Pride.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Miss Mattie’s former house on March 31, the repurposed home will offer a flexible space for gatherings and educational assistance programs for students and adults.

A team of volunteers at the house.
New Life Covenant Church