Nestled amongst the modern office towers and historic buildings of the Fairlie-Poplar district, Woodruff Park is a 6-acre park in the geographic center of Atlanta. Its location at the crossroads of commerce, government, and education makes it a natural gathering space for a diverse cross-section…
Nestled amongst the modern office towers and historic buildings of the Fairlie-Poplar district, Woodruff Park is a 6-acre park in the geographic center of Atlanta. Its location at the crossroads of commerce, government, and education makes it a natural gathering space for a diverse cross-section of Atlantans and visitors and a key starting point for exploring Downtown Atlanta and its surrounding neighborhoods. Originally known as Central City Park in the 1970s, Woodruff Park was created through a generous donation from Robert W. Woodruff, former president of The Coca-Cola Company.
Today, through a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) maintains stewardship of Woodruff Park and is responsible for the park’s daily upkeep and programming, as well as securing and implementing funding for future development. The park offers visitors a variety of recreation stations and facilities scattered throughout its beautifully manicured six acres.
Architect: Nimrod Long and Associates, 1995
Photo: Erin Sintos
In addition to being a green oasis, Woodruff Park is surrounded by locations significant to Downtown Atlanta’s history. These include: the site of the creation of Coca-Cola, and the long-time location of the vault that held the secret formula; the place where the banquet to honor Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was held; and the boardroom where the negotiations to integrate Atlanta were started. Woodruff Park is where you can learn about Atlanta’s beginnings and how it became the heart of the city we know today.
For Open House Atlanta, Woodruff Park will be offering two different tours that highlight these themes of modern Atlanta history.
The first tour highlights downtown Atlanta’s Civil Rights legacy. This tour will share stories of Atlanta, from the first African-American property owner to Martin Luther King Jr.’s participation in the Atlanta Student Movement’s Rich’s protests to Maynard Jackson, the first Black mayor of a major American city.
The second tour is the Woodruff Park Coca-Cola history tour that highlights the creation of the world’s most famous soft drink as well as the influence longtime chairman Robert Woodruff and his former personal secretary, William B. Hartsfield, had on the ongoing development of the City of Atlanta.
Dean Baker, local Atlanta historian, will be your tour guide and will be available for questions between the scheduled tours.
Civil Rights Tour: Saturday 12:00 pm; Sunday 10:00 am and 2:00 pm
Woodruff Park Coca-Cola Tour: Saturday 10:00 am and 2:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 pm