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Wandering Atlanta’s charming Historic College Park in 15 photos

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Following another strong Curbed Cup showing, it’s time to pay this south ITP city a visual visit

A photo of the corner of Main and Harvard streets in College Park.
The corner of Main and Harvard streets in College Park.
Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

For the past couple of years, some of the most impassioned nominations for the annual Curbed Cup tournament have come from the neighbors, workers, and general admirers of Historic College Park, a transit-connected ITP city just south of downtown.

As this installment of Visual Journeys aims to illustrate, it’s easy to see what all the prideful fuss is about.

College Park has climbed into the hallowed Neighborhood of the Year tourney’s Finals and Final Four the past two years, respectively, which is indicative of its momentum as a developing and relatively affordable—if still somewhat unsung—urban destination.

Feathers in College Park’s cap include the country’s largest independent school (Woodward Academy), the fourth largest urban historic district in Georgia (867 structures), and multiple mentions in OutKast lyrics.

Last year, German automaker BMW announced plans to launch a Technical Training Center in College Park, while the Atlanta Hawks solidified plans to operate a “G League” team in a new College Park facility. The Pad on Harvard—the city’s first new apartment community since 1969—came into its own, as new attractions such as Radial Cafe’s second location opened in the historic retail strip.

One nominator named Jean put it like this:

Historic College Park is the best. We are a National Historic District with ... a diverse population of welcoming people minutes away from a world-class airport with direct flights to almost everywhere in the world, while enjoying all the benefits of a friendly small town whose residents care about each other.

Let’s have a look around, shall we ...

With a wraparound porch and white-picket fence, this home off East Main Street exemplifies the older housing stock of College Park.
Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta
St. John’s Episcopal Church is one of many old buildings found in the ITP city’s historic section.
A porte-cochère and attached shed compliment this handsome bungalow along Rugby Avenue.
Even in winter, Barrett Park provides a pleasant, open green space for the neighborhood along Rugby Avenue.
Yet another Rugby Avenue porte-cochère.
Trees, although leafless at the moment, lend a pretty backdrop to this Rugby Avenue bungalow with an inviting, rocking-chair porch.
This Rugby Avenue brick colonial dates to 1928.
Another wraparound porch accentuates this home at 1907 Cambridge Ave.
Older architecture that melds stacked stone with brick on Virginia Avenue.
An example of College Park’s newer residential offerings on Virginia Avenue.
A massive example of newer construction on Cambridge Avenue.
The storefronts and burgeoning culinary roster of College Park’s Main Street.
Popular Atlanta muralist Yoyo Ferro has left his mark at the corner of Main and Harvard streets.
A Main Street scene. Fun trivia: College Park is one of the few U.S. cities “that can boast of having a female architect actively involved in planning and design during the 1890s,” per the city.
Tracks run past the historic train station in downtown College Park.