|Atlanta was founded in 1837 as the end of the Western &
Atlantic railroad line (it was first named Marthasville in honor
of the then-governor's daughter, nicknamed Terminus for its rail
location, and then changed soon after to Atlanta, the feminine
of Atlantic -- as in the railroad). Today the fast-growing city
remains a transportation hub, not just for the country but also
for the world: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport is one
of the nation's busiest in daily passenger flights. Direct
flights to Europe, South America, and Asia have made metro
Atlanta easily accessible to the more than 1,000 international
businesses that operate here and the more than 50 countries that
have representation in the city through consulates, trade
offices, and chambers of commerce. The city has emerged as a
banking center and is the world headquarters for 13 Fortune 500
Atlanta is the Capital city of the southeast, a city of the
future with strong ties to its past. The old in new Atlanta is
the soul of the city, the heritage that enhances the quality of
life in a contemporary city. In the turbulent 60's, Atlanta was
"the city too busy to hate." And today, in the 21st Century,
Atlanta is the "city not too busy to care".
For more than four decades Atlanta has been linked to the civil
rights movement. Civil Rights leaders moved forward, they were
the visionaries who saw a new south, a new Atlanta. They
believed in peace. They made monumental sacrifices for that
peace. And because of them Atlanta became a fast-pace modern
city which opened its doors to the 1996 Olympics.
Die-hard Southerners view Atlanta as the heart of the Old
Confederacy, Atlanta has become the best example of the New
South, a fast-paced modern city proud of its heritage.
In the past two decades Atlanta has experienced unprecedented
growth -- the official city population remains steady, at about
420,000, but the metro population has grown in the past decade
by nearly 40%, from 2.9 million to 4.1 million people. A good
measure of this growth is the ever-changing downtown skyline,
along with skyscrapers constructed in the Midtown, Buckhead, and
outer perimeter (fringing I-285) business districts.
Since the late 1970s dozens of dazzling skyscrapers designed by
such luminaries as Philip Johnson, I. M. Pel, and Marcel Breuer
have reshaped the city's profile. Twenty-first Century, in
Atlanta, history is being written...