"It will be accurately said that he made a very real difference." - John V. Lindsay
Ivan Allen Jr. became Atlanta's mayor in 1962 and left an indelible imprint on Atlanta's skyline. During his two-term tenure, Atlanta ranked in the top ten in the nation in downtown construction, with more than 55 new buildings and 22,000 new jobs a year. Allen oversaw the building of the Atlanta Civic Center (1967) and the Memorial Arts Center (1968) as well as capital improvements to the city's infrastructure. He oversaw the planning for MARTA and the early construction of the Interstate 285 Perimeter and the Downtown Connector, in an attempt to manage the increased traffic brought on by the city's rapid expansion. Of the expressway system, Allen said: "From every business, financial, and commercial aspect, its opening signifies a new and expanding economic era for our city - more money, more jobs, more opportunity, and more enjoyment for more people." After completing his second term as mayor, Allen played an active role in the community, but never again sought public office.
- (top center) Ivan Allen Jr. helped plan for MARTA. Atlanta History Center
- (top left) MARTA Five Points construction, 1978. Atlanta History Center
- (top right) Atlanta skyline, 1969. Atlanta History Center
- (background) Downtown Atlanta, ca. 1920s. Atlanta History Center