The Tabernacle

By Ann Boutwell

September 1961: Fortune magazine writer Seymour Freedgood described Atlanta in a hustling, bustling, booming sort of way in his 5,000-word article “A Look at Buckhead.” he captured the city in general. He called Atlanta’s 44 top business chieftains and power brokers “the big mules.” He noted Atlanta as being the African-American capital and as having the finest new airport in the country, which opened five months earlier on May 3, 1961.

Sept. 3, 2002: Atlanta City Council votes unanimously to ask restaurants to stop pouring water unless the customer asks for it to help conserve water.

Sept. 3, 1911: The Tabernacle at 152 Luckie Street officially opened 100 years ago as a Southern Baptist Church. Currently, Live Nation operates the site as an entertainment and private event venue. A century ago, Atlantans called the building New Broughton Baptist Tabernacle after its founder, pastor, physician-revivalist Rev. Leonard “Len” Gaston Broughton. For more than eight decades, the words of great preachers and the music of gospel choirs reverberated from the walls, designed by architect Reuben Harrison Hunt.

Sept. 5, 1955: Joe Rogers, Sr. and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House opened in Avondale Estates. Waffle House currently operates 1,600 restaurants in 25 states and the company’s headquarters is in Norcross.

Sept. 11, 1964: Atlanta Crackers played its final game in Ponce de Leon Ballpark, which is now the Midtown Place shopping center.

Sept. 12, 1920: The War Mothers of Fulton County unveiled a simple marble memorial with the names of 130 fallen heroes of Fulton County who died in France during World War I. Architect William J. Sayward designed the monument that stands today on the triangular plot of greenspace located at the northern intersection of Peachtree and West Peachtree streets.

Sept. 14, 1976: Atlanta’s Peachtree Southern Railway Station, now known as Brookwood Station, was listed by the National Park Service as a historical property. The exterior of the 93-year-old structure, designed by Neel Reid, looks pretty much today as it did in 1918 when it opened in Brookwood on St. Patrick’s Day. In April, 2011, the city of Atlanta submitted an application for a grant seeking $22.5 million to relocate the station approximately one mile south to Northside Drive and 17th Street, near Atlantic Station.

Sept. 27, 1942: President of the Atlanta Civic and Political League John Wesley Dobbs spoke at the packed Wheat Street Baptist Church. His topic was “Sweet Auburn Avenue.”  The Masonic leader said he remembered when a creek cut through the avenue near Bell Street. He mentioned such personalities as Ben Davis, Alonzo Herndon, and Heman Perry who had their start on the famous avenue. John Wesley Dobbs was the grandfather of the late Mayor Maynard Jackson. Dobbs image “Through His Eyes” by Sculptor Ralph Helmick stands today at John Wesley Dobbs Plaza on Auburn Avenue.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.