Our History

1920s-era brownstone condos on Somerset Terrace.

It all started when...

Poncey-Highland was established between 1905 and 1930, and is bordered by Druid Hills and Candler Park across Moreland Avenue to the east, Old Fourth Ward across the BeltLine to the west, Inman Park across the eastern branch of Freedom Parkway to the south, and Virginia Highland to the north across Ponce de Leon Avenue. The Little Five Points area sits on the border of Poncey-Highland, Inman Park, and Candler Park.

The neighborhood is home to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, established in 1982. The Carter Center occupies an area of land that was originally the neighborhood of Copenhill, and which was razed to build an interchange between eight-lane highways: Interstate 485 (now Stone Mountain Freeway) east and west, and Georgia 400 and Interstate 675 north and south. The development was successfully stopped by the surrounding neighborhoods, leaving Freedom Parkway in the area where Georgia Department of Transportation had already demolished over 500 homes.

 
Poncey-Highland in 1906 (left) and today (right). Top photo: 1920s-era brownstone condos on Somerset Terrace, one of many 1920-30s apartment buildings and single-family brick homes still found in our neighborhood.

Poncey-Highland in 1906 (left) and today (right). Top photo: 1920s-era brownstone condos on Somerset Terrace, one of many 1920-30s apartment buildings and single-family brick homes still found in our neighborhood.

 

Today, a number of historic buildings still stand in Poncey-Highland, including:

  • Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant (c. 1916, above bottom right).
  • Western Electric Company building at 820 Ralph McGill.
  • Briarcliff Plaza, containing the Majestic Diner (c. 1929) and the Plaza Theatre (1939), an art-deco cinema hosting numerous film events and the focal point of independent cinema in Atlanta (above top right).
  • Clermont Hotel (above left), currently empty except for the basement Clermont Lounge, "Atlanta's oldest strip club", according to its website.

Atlanta BeltLine, a multi-use corridor of walking and biking paths and eventually a light rail line, is currently being built on the old Southern Railway tracks that form the western boundary of Poncey-Highland (above: BeltLine Eastside Trail).

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Around the intersection of North Avenue and North Highland are:

  • Manuel's Tavern(above left), a local political hangout and one of Atlanta's oldest taverns
  • Videodrome, an independent DVD and video rental retail
  • The Highland Inn, one of Atlanta's only independent hotels
  • Highland Ballroom (above right), a bar and event space located in the Highland Inn's basement area.

You can find some stellar historical photos of Poncey-Highland in this AJC photo gallery!


Learn more about our history and future.

View The Poncey-Highland Neighborhood Master Plan: