Urban Environment in Ivan Allen's Atlanta

These exhibits relate to environmental issues and the urban environment in the City of Atlanta during the tenure of Mayor Ivan Allen (1962-1970). While many of the documents within the exhibits tell individual stories or act as evidence of isolated events or concerns, read together they show the ways that issues of environmental justice, race, and poverty overlapped in Atlanta in the late 1960s.

"The Pollution of Proctor Creek" exhibit follows a series of documents from throughout 1967 that create a narrative about the the city's response to the degradation of Proctor Creek on Atlanta's Westside, one of the largest urban watersheds in the Atlanta Metropolitan area. Issues at stake include pollution, flooding, health effects to surrounding communities, water and sewage infrastructure problems, and the availability of state and federal funding.

The exhibit "Parks and Rec: Atlanta's Outdoor Urban Environment" showcases a range of documents related to parks and recreation operations in the city in the years 1967 and 1969, including park maintenaince, complaints about parks--particularly Piedmont Park, construction of "playlots" and other outdoor infrastructure, city beautification efforts, and the need for recreational facilities in Atlanta's communities of color. One sustained narrative within this exhibit (four letters from July-October 1967) follows a conversation about the construction of a footbridge over Proctor Creek to allow access to the newly constructed Gun Club Park for the Perry Homes Housing Project.