City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Phoenix Flies showcases hidden historic sites in Atlanta


Hidden inside Grady Memorial Hospital is a historic chapel designed by local architect Philip Shutze. It was recently refurbished and will be on display during the Atlanta Preservation Center's Phoenix Flies event. AJC file photo

Starting this weekend, there are dozens of events that teach something new about Atlanta. Usually, you’d have to pay for them, but for these few weeks, they’re free. In some cases, there wouldn’t be a usually because you’d never get this kind of access to them.

It’s the Atlanta Preservation Center’s seventh Phoenix Flies; it coordinates the city’s historic sites and schedules free tours and events there from March 6-22. It’s two weeks to refute the idea that there’s no history left in Atlanta, to point out that it’s not too late — those sites and stories don’t have to be forgotten.

“Many people don’t think of Atlanta as having historic sites,” explains Rebecca Roberts, the Preservation Center’s director of programs. “They may know about the History Center, The Wren’s Nest, Oakland Cemetery, but many people don’t come into the heart unless it’s to go to the Dome or something like that. They’re just unaware. It’s almost like there’s a city that doesn’t want to remember its past.”

This year’s Phoenix Flies has some new events and old favorite sites, like fresh tours at Oakland Cemetery, the Atlanta History Center and Grant Park.

There are sites participating for the first time, including the Burns Cottage, the Adair Home at Paideia School, three historic buildings at Grady Memorial Hospital, the neighborhood of Castleberry Hill and others.

And there are great moments for kids and families, too, including tours and storytelling at The Wren’s Nest, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Atlanta History Center Tullie Smith Farm tours and a special tour, The Urban Experience for Children.

And why call it “Phoenix Flies?” For the mythical bird that rises from the ashes; it has been the symbol of Atlanta and on the city’s seal since 1887.

What’s your favorite on the list of Phoenix Flies events? Any favorites?

Want to go? Atlanta Preservation Center’s Phoenix Flies tours and events. March 6-March 22. Free, some events require reservations. Various locations throughout Atlanta. 404-688-3353,

2 comments Add your comment


March 7th, 2010
7:58 am

This is all really cool, thanks for posting it.

Do you know if the tunnel that went from white Grady to black Grady is still open? I know some of the buildings were torn down so I’m guessing not.

My great aunt was a nurse there in the late 40s:

[...] History: Glorious Water Walking Tour of natural springs, ponds and fountains of Grant Park for Phoenix Flies, 10 a.m., Grant Park, Atlanta. FREE. Read more. [...]