Chastain Park, a World-Class Neighborhood and Park
Originally settled in the 1800s, Chastain Park thrives today as an activity center for Atlantans.
In the 1800s, the area we know as Chastain Park was occupied by prehistoric Native-American tribes, and later a Creek Indian settlement that farmed and hunted the land along with 19th century Americans.
In the early 1900s Fulton County purchased 1,000 acres including the 268 acres of Chastain Park. In 1911 two alms houses opened, one for whites and one for African-Americans. The residents of the alms houses were cared for by women serving time at the Negro Women’s Convict Camp, which was located where today’s NYO baseball fields are located.
Men later inhabited that space and were responsible for building out Chastain Park as we know it today under the leadership of William L. Monroe Sr., a master stonesman. Examples of their stonework define the park today in structures like the Chastain Park Amphitheater and the Master Grill.
In the 1930s, “Northside Park” saw the beginning of construction of what is now the Chastain Park Amphitheater. It would not open until 1944, and only featured three events during its first three years. The amphitheater was referred to as Fulton County’s “hidden asset” as most Atlanta residents did not know it existed or how to access it. The amphitheater survived bad ideas such as filling it up with water and making a swimming pool out of it and is today a highlight of the park and neighborhood. Each year thousands of people come from all over the South to see 60 to 70 musical acts perform as well as the Atlanta Symphony.
In the late 1940s, North Fulton Park was named Chastain Memorial Park in honor of the late Troy Chastain, who was the Fulton County Commissioner and the park’s biggest advocate. In 2011, Chastain Memorial Park is thriving in a way that people even 30 years ago never imagined it could. It is the largest public park in the cty of Atlanta and is the centerpiece of the Chastain Park neighborhood.
Development of the neighborhood was an “evolution” says Ray Mock, director of operations and co-founder of the Chastain Park Conservancy. Around 1950 the Chastain Park neighborhood would undergo its busiest development period, which would last through the 1960s.
The development consisted mainly of ranch and midcentury modern style homes. Today many of these homes have been renovated extensively or torn down and rebuilt. The lot sizes in Chastain Park are on average ½ acre or larger. Home sizes range from two bedrooms and two baths to seven bedrooms and six baths. Over the past two years the average home has sold for $930,000, with the lowest home sale at $364,000 and the largest at $2,900,000. Click Here for an up to date list of available homes for sale in Chastain Park.
Families move to Chastain Park for its wealth of amenities that are really tough to find inside the Perimeter. There aren’t many neighborhoods in Buckhead or really anywhere for that matter that have three schools, a golf course, a tennis center, a swimming pool, a world class sports league for children, a playground, an arts center, a basketball gymnasium, a horse park and stables, a concert amphitheater, and a quaint restaurant within walking distance of your home. Whether you are looking for an arts festival, a midweek concert in the park (Chastain Chill), a parade, a place to watch fireworks, a 2.8 mile walking PATH, or just a quiet stroll, Chastain Park has what you are looking for.
Most of Chastain Park is located in the city of Atlanta, which feeds into Warren T. Jackson Elementary School, whose primary campus is located in the community. Jackson is an award- winning school that consistently ranks among the top elementary schools in Atlanta. Jackson is a National Blue Ribbon School, a Georgia School of Excellence and an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.
Jackson feeds into Sutton Middle School, which is located inside Chastain Park at the corner of Powers Ferry Road and Jett Road. Sutton recently underwent a major renovation and is a first class facility. Over the summer, the movie Mean Girls II was filmed on the campus. The Atlanta Public School System is planning to split Sutton into two middle schools to relieve overcrowding, and will likely be taking over the current North Atlanta High School campus.
The Galloway School is the third school located in Chastain Park. Galloway is a learner-focused independent school that was founded in 1969 by Elliot Galloway. Galloway is radically different from other private schools in the area. Instead of teaching facts and processes, children are taught to learn – about academics and about themselves. Galloway has a student body of approximately 700 students ranging from age 3 to the 12th grade.
As you can see Chastain Park offers a little something special for everyone.
I invite you to check out my blog www.ChastainParkBlog.com for news and information about Chastain Memorial Park and the Chastain Park neighborhood.
Sources: Chastain Park Subject file, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center and The Chastain Park Conservancy