One of Atlanta’s leading voices for growing the city’s green spaces, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is advancing the cause by soon becoming the city’s first cultural institution with direct access to the BeltLine—a feat made possible thanks to a $25-million gift recently awarded to the Garden by the James M. Cox Foundation. The gift, along with private donations, will allow the Garden to purchase 7 acres of commercial property along Piedmont Avenue, thereby extending the Garden’s footprint to the BeltLine. While the Garden’s existing entrance on Piedmont will continue to receive visitors and their cars, a planned second entrance, located directly on the BeltLine, will provide an additional pedestrian-friendly access point. “Having a front door on the BeltLine is about sustainability,” says Garden president and CEO Mary Pat Matheson. “We will become a community that moves with our feet rather than by cars.” In its early stages of planning, the second entrance is expected to welcome guests with a courtyard that Matheson envisions will bring some of the Garden directly out into the BeltLine. Entrance features being considered include a series of water gardens, art installations and an 18-foot sculpture of a phoenix, the symbol of Atlanta.
Matheson is hopeful that the project will be finished by the summer of 2026, a goal which is intended to coincide with Atlanta’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup. And with the Piedmont Park Conservancy planning a future expansion of Piedmont Park that will ultimately converge with the BeltLine and the Garden, what Matheson refers to as “the green epicenter of Atlanta” is well on its way to becoming a reality.
By the Numbers
Now known collectively as The Krog District, the historical Krog Street Market, Atlanta Stove Works and SPX Alley have been joined by two new buildings to create a cohesive and easy-to-navigate district featuring restaurants, retail shops and office space. Developed by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Asana Partners, The Krog District is adjacent to the BeltLine Eastside Trail. thekrogdistrict.com
Number of stories of the District’s tallest building
The year Krog Street Market’s structure was built
Number of restaurants and bars open and operating
Approximate square footage of retail space
Number of acres occupied
Age range of the highest percentage of visitors
to the District