Underground, Atlanta

2.5 out of 5 stars 30 Reviews

50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta (404) 523-2311
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  • Underground
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    Atlanta Underground

    by apbeaches Updated Jan 3, 2016

    Underground Atlanta is a shopping and entertainment district that opened in 1969, it takes advantage of the viaducts built over the city's many railroad tracks to accommodate later automobile traffic. Each level has two main halls, still called Upper and Lower Alabama and Pryor Streets.

    The buildings comprising Underground Atlanta were constructed during the city's post-Civil War Reconstruction Era boom, between 1866 and 1871, when the city's population doubled. In 1869, the Georgia Railroad freight depot was constructed to replace the one destroyed by Sherman's troops in 1864. The depot, which stands at the entrance of Underground Atlanta, remains the oldest building in downtown Atlanta. Originally there were hotels, banks, law offices, and saloons. An electric streetcar was installed in 1889 to points South, and by 1900 the depot was serving 100 trains per day with direct service between Atlanta and New York City; Cincinnati, Ohio; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Knoxville, Augusta, Georgia; Macon, Georgia; and Columbus, Georgia. By 1910, several iron bridges had been built to cross the railroad tracks at Union Street.

    In 1969, "Underground Atlanta" officially opened with new restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and music venues installed in the old individual storefronts. At the time, Fulton County was the only county in the state of Georgia that permitted mixed alcoholic beverages to be served, provided that men wore coats and ties in places that served them. As a result, Underground Atlanta quickly became the center of downtown Atlanta nightlife. Among the more popular spots in Underground Atlanta were Dante's Down the Hatch, Scarlet O'Hara, The Blarney Stone, The Rustler's Den, The Pumphouse, The Front Page, The Bank Note, and Mulenbrink's Saloon, where Atlanta's Piano Red, under the name Dr. Feelgood and the Interns, played from 1969 to 1979. Other attractions included a souvenir shop owned by governor Lester Maddox and a wax museum. With the old-style architecture lending considerable charm to the district, Underground Atlanta was compared to Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

    Today Underground Atlanta looked empty, old, sad and dated. There has been talk about it being sold for mixed use commercial and residential space. Plans have been delayed due to funds.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Five Points Neighborhood

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

    Website: http://www.underground-atlanta.com/

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    Threshold Statue

    by Yaqui Updated Jun 13, 2015

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    Atlanta has many interesting sculptures all over town. This exceptional and unsual scultpure called Threshold (1996) is by Spanish artist Robert Llimos. It is not located too far from Underground Atlanta.

    Address: Wall Street & Peachtree Street SW, Atlanta, GA 303

    Directions: By Underground Atlanta

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

    Website: http://ocaatlanta.com/district2%282%29-publicart

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  • Stay Away, Seriously!

    by smokeandrattle Written Sep 6, 2014

    This place was once kind of neat. I had been here years ago, took my wife and niece since they had never been. What a disappointment this turned out to be. We visited on 9-6-2014, most of the stores are vacant, watched a drug deal go down in plain sight, smells awful, but if you are looking for thug city this is your place. The web page is very misleading in its portrayal of what this place is like. No one is shopping here it is just a hang out for the local thugs and a daytime hangout for vagrants. You know it is bad when there is a security officer in front of each store that is open.

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    Underground Atlanta

    by TravellerMel Written Sep 9, 2013

    I have a memory many years ago of Underground Atlanta having lots of unique shops and restaurants, with the cool sensation of being underground on a street. When we recently returned, I was disappointed to find the unique shops being mostly gone and replaced with strip-mall type stores. I found chain restaurants. The sensation of being underground on a street is still there, since, that is what it is. There is a history walk that directs you to the numbered plaques - the coolest one being a cast-iron streetlight with a hole at the base which was made when it was hit by a shell during Sherman's march through Atlanta.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Please see website for directions

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

    Website: http://www.underground-atlanta.com/

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    Underground Atlanta

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Atlanta beginnings as a railroad town center around the depot. Alabama Street, between Peachtree Street and Central Avenue, was the city's center and much of Atlanta’s history stems and continues to grow thanks of the mighty steel. After the Civil War, Atlanta was on the mends to restore the city and with doing so, the main rail head was built with an impressive three-story head house to grown with the demands of the growing population. It continued to be prosperous way into the 1929, when construction of the concrete "viaducts" elevated the street system one level to permit a better flow of traffic. Merchants decided to stay prosperous too, had to move their businesses to the second floor, leaving the old fronts for storage and service underneath. From the 1930 to the 1968 Underground Atlanta laid silent and almost forgotten. It wasn’t till in 1968 that Underground Atlanta was appointed a Historical Landmark, and refurbished and opened with retail shops and businesses. In 1980’s Marta transit lines construction and other various factors forced the Underground to close down once again. Yet, the cities civic leaders had the Underground listed on National Register of Historic Places, so in 1989 the Underground Atlanta reopened with a in 1989 with having complete a $142 million makeover once again creating a center piece of community life.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta GA 30303

    Directions: Exit onto Marietta St/Decatur St SE & Pryor Road exit from I-85

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

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    Block Building 1882

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Planters Hotel, which served as a Confederate Hospital during the Civil War stood at this site till it burned down in 1882. Within the same year, Frank E. Block constructed the elborate five story building that stills stands. His candy factors was located on the upper floors, while space on the lower levels was rented to other enterprises. The Carlos Soda Company a tenant in 1921, painted this wall advertisement for Coca Cola. The first carbonated Coca Cola was served in 1887 at Jacob's Pharmacy on Peacetree Street, (picture you see on the information plaque)

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Exit onto Marietta St/Decatur St SE & Pryor Road exit from I-85

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

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    Humbug Square

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    During Atlanta's pioneer days, the stretch of Alabama Street between Peacetree and Pryor Street was known as "Humbug Square" because of the confidence men, fast buck artist, moonshiners, and snake oil salemen who frequent it. Common sights were traveling medicine shows, trained bears, and fervent political speakers. Photo taken on the information plaque was taken in 1880.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Exit onto Marietta St/Decatur St SE & Pryor Road exit from I-85

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

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    Peachtree Fountain Plaza

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In 1943, a new park, named Plaza Park, was built over the railroad gulch. This park was replaced by a new and larger plaza in the 1960's, Peachtree Fountains Plaza, which has become a major entrance to Underground Atlanta. It is considered to be the absolute center of town.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Exit onto Marietta St/Decatur St SE & Pryor Road exit from I-85

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

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    Wyland Whaling Wall

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    What is so unique about this square, there are many wonderful things to see. Just beyond the Coca Cola gift shop to the right is the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot and Wyland Whaling Wall.

    Wyland Whalling Wall is called :“Atlanta’s Right Whales” It is 450 Feet Long x 50 Feet High Dedicated September 16th, 1993 by Mayor Maynard Jackson.

    The Wyland Foundation, non-profit organization founded in 1993 by environmental marine life artist Wyland, is dedicated to promoting, protecting, and preserving the world’s oceans, waterways, and marine life.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Exit onto Marietta St/Decatur St SE & Pryor Road exit from I-85

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

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    Georgia Railroad Freight Depot 1869

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Georgia Railroad Freight Depot was completed in April of 1869 and is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Atlanta. The building served as the main freight depot for the Georgia Railroad and was restored by the Georgia Building Authority in 1981 for public use. Most of the original brickwork and freight bays remain in place to give the facility a unique setting for special occasions. It is located right under the Wyland Whaling Wall Mural

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Exit onto Marietta St/Decatur St SE & Pryor Road exit from I-85

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

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    Guided History Tour

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you want to learn more about the area, taking one of these tours will enlighten you to some of the forgotten history that locals usually know about. It is always fun and fascinating to learn. “From Civil War to Civil Rights”

    Tour Times:
    Friday: 11am,1pm and 3pm
    Saturday: 11am, 1pm and 3pm
    Sunday: 1pm and 3pm
    Price:$6.00 per person
    Tickets can be purchased at the Customer Information Booth (404.523.2311 ext. 7019).

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Exit onto Marietta St/Decatur St SE & Pryor Road exit from I-85

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

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    Underground Trying Another Revival

    by BruceDunning Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Since the late1960's, when the concept was first made to bring back tourism and people to downtown, the Underground has had a couple of bouts to revive and survive. It closed in 1980, and they city revived it in 1989, but riots trashed the area in 1992, and again nearly closed. Then another revival with Coke as tour anchor. They are gone, and so is the popularity. The migration of the Coke museum from this area, has again created a concern about decline and possible wrong elements hanging out down under. Not a good scene for the city.
    The latest while we were there in Feb 2009, was to have a proposed $400 million casino at the underground.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Please see website for directions

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

    Brochure of the area Promotion of the Concept.

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    Underground Atlanta at Night

    by atufft Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Unfortunately, I got to the Underground Atlanta a bit late and much of it was closed. There are nightclubs and bars, but I didn't visit them. Despite the appear of hip hop style African-American kids hanging around, I didn't feel too worried by their bluff. Police to frequent the area. This place is right at the Five Points MARTA Station.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Please see website for directions

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

    Underground Atlanta Underground Atlanta
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    Underground Atanta

    by TexasDave Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This is always on the list of tourist's Must-See's and many first time tourists ask What is it? and Why?
    Answers: What is now the Underground was originaly street-level Atlanta with Train tracks and trolley cars. When the city modernized it was decided to build streets up on on a network of bridges and viaducts to get out of the way of the trains and trolleys. The elevated street provides the ceiling for the Underground and the whole 4 block area is now a climate-controlled street fair. There are many touristy shops, food outlets, and several late-night music/dance clubs. As many VTer tips indicate, late at night and on Summer weekends this place can get a heavy "Ghetto" vibe and makes some people uncomfortable. It is well patrolled and there are surveillance cameras, so it's not unusually dangerous- just use normal precautions and trust your instinct.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Please see website for directions

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

    Above the Underground Underground Typical old Storefront now a candy store
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    Underground Atlanta

    by Krumel Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Underground Atlanta is a touristy shopping mall, but what makes it special is its history. In the last century when the roads became to small for cars and trains, many bridges were built with trains going under the bridges and the cars on top. The trains are no longer running, but the "underground" has been revived by creating a rather unusual shopping mall.

    It's not really that great for actually going shopping, though, unless you are looking for Atlanta souvenirs. There are also lots of shoe shops for some reason, and of course restaurants of every description catering for every taste.

    Address: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta

    Directions: Please see website for directions

    Phone: (404) 523-2311

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