In his comment to my post on “Remembering Atlanta,” George reflects that many residents probably think the changes along Ponce are for the best. It may be that in some cases, it’s better to “forget Atlanta” than it is to use dilapidated old buildings to “remember it.”
In the meantime, I’ve noticed another Creative Loafing article mentioning a new book, The Crackers: Early Days of Atlanta Baseball, devoted to detailing the history of Atlanta baseball before the Braves (note: link may disappear). The Crackers were Atlanta’s minor league baseball team, and they played in Ponce de Leon Ball Park, situated directly across from what is now City Hall East. “Old Poncey” was demolished in 1965 and is now a strip mall with a Borders Bookstore and Whole Foods grocery store, but stands as one of the more eccentric ballparks in memory because of the giant magnolia tree that grew in the middle of center field. Reviewer Tray Butler mourns Atlanta’s tendency to bulldoze over its historical landmarks, but I have few complaints. Whole Foods is a great grocery store, and quite frankly, it’s a pretty nice Borders.
I wonder if other cities have such ambivalent feelings about remembering and forgetting, or if this is something more prominent in Atlanta because of its history of destruction and rebuilding.