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Atlanta. Ga., Heart of the New South
by Howard Giske

Atlanta Ga. is one of the great cities of the Southern United States. The city's population is almost 500,000, with a metropolitan area of over 5 million people. At about 1050 feet or 320 meters above mean sea level, Atlanta sits atop a ridge south of the Chattahoochee River. Much of the river's natural habitat is still preserved, in part by the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Its tallest landmark - the Bank of America Plaza - is the 24th-tallest building in the world at 1,023 feet. The city's high-rises are clustered in three districts in the city--Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead. From a commercial standpoint this is where the most expensive Atlanta homes are, and some of the plushest condos as well.

The Atlanta economy is a mix of some functions for local shipping and agriculture, plus a lot of globalized and international business. Fortune 100 companies headquartered in Atlanta include The Coca-Cola Company, Home Depot, BellSouth, and United Parcel Service and Cingular Wireless, the largest mobile phone service provider in the United States. Delta Airlines makes Atlanta its hub, which has helped to make Hartsfield-Jackson the world's busiest airport. Atlanta was started out as the terminal of an east-west railroad before the Civil War and to this day serves freight lines belonging to Norfolk Southern and CSX.

Atlanta is also the state capitol. The Georgia State Capitol building, located downtown, houses the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state, as well as the General Assembly. The Governor's Mansion is located on West Paces Ferry Road, in residential section of Buckhead. Buckhead is composed of high-rises, exclusive townhouses, and there are still some old Georgian and neoclassical mansions, though many were actually constructed after the Civil War. Buckhead is conveniently located and has easy access to shopping and to fine restaurants. Commuting is aided by GA Rte 400 and has several MARTA commuter rail stations. In addition the Atlantic Station, a huge new urban renewal project on the northwestern edge of Midtown Atlanta, officially opened in October of 2005.

Georgia Tech's Tech TowerAtlanta has more than 30 institutions of higher education, among which Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology (popularly known as Georgia Tech), Georgia State University, and Oglethorpe University. Atlanta University Center, a consortium of prestigious historically black colleges and universities, is also located in the city; members of the consortium include Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse College.

The Sweet Auburn district includes the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Sites in the neighborhood honor Atlanta's participation in the civil rights movement. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in the city, and his boyhood home on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn district is preserved.

On the fun side, the Atlanta Aquarium should not be missed. It is the world's largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, which opened in 2005. The aquarium features over 100,000 specimens in tanks. This includes a popular exhibit of Beluga Whales and the only aquarium to house whale sharks. Cultural attractions abound in classical music including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera, and the Atlanta Ballet.

About the Author

Howard Giske writes about Atlanta homes and nationwide real estate at

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