January 2001


Dear friends and neighbors of the Marietta Street Artery, as we approach our first meeting of the New Year (FEBRURARY 20, 6pm at 710 Marietta St.-2nd floor), Rhodes and I felt the timing appropriate to introduce what we hope will become a new tradition for the MARIETTA STREET ARTERY ASSOCIATION (MSAA). The "State of the Artery" message is a review of the significant issues and events related to our community over the past year, and sets a general course of action for the New Year.

We are happy to report that the state of the Artery is vibrant. While issues such as crime, infrastructure improvements, and beautification remain major concerns, we have made huge advances on many fronts. Development and revitalization in the Artery is strong. Among the many new projects completed or under way, the MSAA has had direct involvement in zoning and variance reviews for the MIDTOWN WEST development, the KING PLOW ARTS CENTER expansion, and most recently, the WINTER COMPANIES extended development on Means Street.

Working with TREES ATLANTA, City of Atlanta arborists and local developers, the MSAA helped to enforce the city's tree ordinance resulting in the planting of 13 new shade trees to replace a large oak lost to new construction. Additionally, TREES ATLANTA has added 14 new trees directly along Marietta Street in the past year.

Successful lobbying by the association has pressed the city into action to resolve illegal parking and traffic flow problems along Means Street and Bankhead Ave. New signage has been added in these areas and Atlanta Police are exhibiting a renewed effort to patrol this long neglected section of our community. Further, Atlanta's AMBASSADOR FORCE has expanded their zone of coverage down to North Avenue.

After years of efforts by numerous groups and individuals, two separately proposed National Historic Districts; The Means Street National Historic District and the King Plow/ Railroad Historic District have cleared certification at the state level and are moving forward for national consideration. In other "historic news", a major victory was recently realized in the preservation of the Artery's rich past. Thanks largely to the extensive media coverage of an effort mobilized by Grover Sterling, one of the MSAA's most vocal proponents, the city council proposal to re-name Marietta Street was withdrawn.

On a sad note, the neighborhood lost a good friend and passionate entrepreneur in the tragic passing of Wallace Thomas. Wallace and the art and music nurtured through the LEVEL II GALLERY complex will always be remembered as powerful contributors to Atlanta's cultural fabric.

Looking to the future, the MSAA has worked to implement an expanded association structure and more specifically defined boundaries. Revised By-laws are in place to encourage a higher level of individual participation as well as increased interaction with adjacent neighborhood groups and the city's formal Neighborhood Planning Units (NPU's). To this end, we have accepted an invitation to apply for a board position with NPU-E and are refining our relationship with the Home Park Community Improvement Association, with whom we share overlapping boundaries.

Thanks to Frances Hamilton, acting MSAA Chief Staff Officer and Webmaster, the Artery maintains one of the city's first and most extensive neighborhood websites ( The site offers vast amounts of history as well as maps, business directories, and updates on MSAA meetings and activities.

Please make plans to attend our first meeting of the year. Anyone living or working in or around the Marietta Street Artery is invited to participate. We are a unique organization in which the concerns of both residents and businesses are represented and treated with equal respect. If you live or work anywhere along Marietta Street, West Marietta Street, or Howell Mill Road from Techwood Drive to Huff Road, you have a neighborhood, you have a neighborhood association, and most importantly, you have a voice that will be heard!

We have been honored to represent our neighborhood over the past year and wish to thank the many individuals, including past MSAA presidents Louis Brown and King Shaw, who have devoted their energy towards furthering the best interests of our community. Please call us with any questions you may have about the MARIETTA STREET ARTERY ASSOCIATION or the upcoming meeting and elections. (Bill 404-521-0957) (Rhodes 404-577-7168).


Bill Gould and Rhodes Perdue Co-Presidents MSAA