“I came to Atlanta in 1964, lived in Buckhead briefly for a couple of years and then moved to Ansley Park on The Prado. This was well before there was a Colony Square. When Colony Square was birthed in the mid-70s, it was known as a “micropolis,” designed by Henri Jova, a close friend of mine. Colony Square became the heart of Midtown.
When my husband and I divorced in 1982, I bought another home in Ansley Park and I lived there until I moved to Hanover House in 2003. I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else but here. My husband had his first office in the 100 Building. My kids all benefitted from growing up in Colony Square. I am a total cheerleader for Atlanta, a city full of good citizens and a lot of them lived at Colony Square. Today, I am still working as an independent writer, working from home, and I am loving it.
My most recent memory is the Hambidge Creative Hive you recently had. To reinvigorate the whole complex itself was amazing. I am very happy that you see the possibilities for reenergizing this space. The whole Midtown area is being energized as well, but this area, the flame has never gone out.
If you took a day in my life as a resident (14 years, mind you), my life is centered around being in this whole center location. Within walking distance, I have all the amenities and cultural advantages, being across from the Woodruff Arts Center and MARTA. You can get any place where you need to go by rail, by bus and cross town. I walk a lot in the park and I swim at Piedmont Park, one of the best pools I’ve ever been in. I also bike the Beltline, where soon it will connect 44 other neighborhoods of Atlanta. The vision is fabulous and connecting all our neighborhoods is just incredible.
One of the things people talk about is scale. From 14th to 17th Streets, you have a scale that works with different types of architecture. Notice how architects and builders paid attention to scale, proportion set back for public space. Anchoring the southern end of this beautiful stretch of Peachtree, the design of Colony Square is beautifully scaled and I am hoping you all are sensitive to that.
What I find most-unique about Colony Square, more than other places in Atlanta, is obviously its location — its proximity to culture, entertainment, food, parks, and MARTA.
I do not miss anything about the way it used to be because it was a different time. My kids learned to ice skate at Colony Square. It was wonderful. It’s good to have memories, but it doesn’t mean there can’t be a core attraction that brings people together.
If I could change one thing about Colony Square it would be to have a larger international presence and to be the center for the literary arts community in Atlanta. I would love for Colony Square to be a place for all authors and their books to be released, and to have events combined with art and performance.
For the future, I hope you keep hosting community events and interactive programming. It is important to continue that. If you’ve established your reputation, you don’t want to quit doing that and that’s what I want to see you guys keep doing. Lastly, I would love to see a connection with the film industry. I think it would be great if you could host special screenings for residents and neighbors.
If there is one inspirational advice I could give it would be ‘the purpose is to love what you love—a lot.’ I love this city and the kind of commitment you have to this place. Home, is important. It’s not a fleeing thing and there has to be a commitment. I am very proud to be an Atlantan and I hope to be a good citizen for the rest of my time here. And my last advice, ‘be kind to one-another.’”