Woodruff Park Atlanta GA

Woodruff Park is a 6-acre park in the heart of Atlanta, GA, surrounded by contemporary office skyscrapers and historic structures in the Fairlie-Poplar neighborhood. The park sits north of Edgewood Avenue between Peachtree Street NE and Park Place NE.

The park’s central position makes it an ideal meeting place for people from all walks of life and a convenient jumping-off point for visiting downtown Atlanta and the neighboring areas.

Coca-Cola’s history vault is located in the park where the company was founded. Many significant events were held there, including a dinner honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Two different tours of the park are also available for everyone.

History

The initial 4 acres between Pryor St., Edgewood Avenue, Candler Building, and Peachtree Street were acquired by Mr. Woodruff and donated to the city in 1971. After two years, in 1973, park officials officially opened the park’s gate to the public.

In 1985, it was discovered that Robert W. Woodruff had funded the park with a donation. Because of that, the park was renamed in his honor. The International Peace Fountain was built in the park in 1995 in anticipation of the Centennial Olympic Games.

Woodruff Park is now managed by the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) under an MOU with the City of Atlanta. ADID is responsible for the park’s day-to-day operations, programming, and fundraising for future improvements. 

The park has six well-kept acres and a wide range of recreational stations and amenities for guests.

Attractions

Over five million people visit Woodruff Park every year. The park has programs that draw new people weekly, while major events add 10,000 downtown visitors yearly. Doggy Con and the German Bierfest are just two of the notable festivals, events, and performances that have taken place in the park throughout the years. 

One of the most well-known sculptures on the grounds is titled “Atlanta from the Ashes,” It portrays a lady releasing a Phoenix. This bird is meant to represent Atlanta’s rebirth after it was destroyed by Union forces led by William T. Sherman during the Civil War. Presented by the Rich Foundation in honor of 100 years of business at Rich’s Department Store.

Atlanta from the Ashes (The Phoenix) was initially situated on a viaduct next to the first Rich’s Department store on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, S.W. & Spring Street, S.W., Atlanta, GA in 1969. It stood there until 1995 when it was refurbished and transported to its present site in Woodruff Park. James Seigler was responsible for the artwork’s design, Gamba Quirino was responsible for the sculpture, and Ferruccio Vezzoni was accountable for the fabrication in 1969.

The PRISM project is a new initiative of the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. The Atlanta Homeward Choir, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Georgia State University Choral Union, and Georgia’s Credit Union cooperate with the community to deliver the free Live from Woodruff Park performance series. The free event is family-oriented, so people are invited to bring blankets, chairs, and picnic baskets. Through January 2020, visitors may enjoy an exhibition showcasing light sculptures by artists from across the globe.

Guided Tours

Tour guides in Woodruff Park will lead two separate tours during Open House Atlanta that focus on these aspects of the city’s more recent past.

The first tour covers downtown Atlanta’s civil rights heritage. This trip will present tales of Atlanta, from the first African-American property owner to Martin Luther King Jr.’s involvement in the Atlanta Student Movement’s Rich’s demonstrations to Maynard Jackson, the first Black mayor of a major American city.

The second tour emphasizes the invention of the world’s most renowned soft drink and the longstanding importance chairman Robert Woodruff and his secretary, William B. Hartsfield, had on the continuous growth of Atlanta.

The Peachtree Heights East historical monument is the first stop on a tour of Woodruff Park. While there, you can check out a cool mural of Atlanta’s female residents. The bikini-clad lady mural is an amazing piece of art history. Sneezing on a statue of a lady in a mask is a way to stir some sentimental feelings about days gone by.