I took these pictures of the Cabbagetown area of Atlanta around 1991. Cabbagetown is fascinating to me because it was more or less a classic southern mill town which was surrounded by the city of Atlanta. Cabbagetown is similar in many ways to countless other towns like Haw River, Eden, Swepsonville NC or Winder GA. After the mill closed in 1977 the neighborhood entered a period of decline. Thankfully during it's decade of decline no one put the time and effort required into demolishing the mill building as so often happens. When these pictures were taken the area had just begun to attract artists and young people with it's unique history, architecture and cheap real estate. At this point the neighborhood is fully gentrified. The mill has been converted to condos and has a nice new swimming pool in the center. The surrounding commercial and residential neighborhood are full of thriving businesses and newly renovated houses.
The gentrification of Cabbagetown is definitely a win for preservation. Most of the industrial, commercial and residential buildings have survived with minor modifications. Of course the blue collar jobs and affordable housing are gone forever but had the mill building and surrounding houses been demolished as has happened so many other places then the thriving Cabbagetown of today would never have existed. It's a very interesting and mostly positive example of the recycling and life cycling of an entire neighborhood.
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