The Atlanta Preservation Center educates beyond the walls

The 1856 L.P. Grant Mansion, now headquarters of the Atlanta Preservation Center, once served as a hospital during the Civil War.

Credit: cont

Credit: cont

The 1856 L.P. Grant Mansion, now headquarters of the Atlanta Preservation Center, once served as a hospital during the Civil War.

Q: I read that the Atlanta Preservation Center is back hosting tours. Would you tell me about the one for the Grant Mansion and birding tour at Grant Park?

A: You are inquiring on “A Morning in Grant Park: L.P. Grant Mansion Tour and Grant Park Birding Tour” scheduled for Saturday at 8 a.m.

This 2-hour tour will begin at the home of the Atlanta Preservation Center, known as the L.P. Grant Mansion. Serving as an introduction attendees will spend 30 minutes learning a bit about the mansion’s past and the center’s advocacy in the preservation of Atlanta. From there the remaining time will focus on the birding tour and history at Grant Park led by the Georgia Audubon Society.

“By meeting at the center, ... they get an understanding of what we are doing and the opportunity to better understand preservation is more than simply walls. It is also the preservation of our community and our parks,” said Executive Director of the Atlanta Preservation Center David Yoakley Mitchell.

“Grant Park is the oldest park in the city of Atlanta. It’s a big deal and the fact that we are walking down from the oldest house in the city of Atlanta, to the oldest park in Atlanta, adjacent to the zoo which is the oldest cultural space in Atlanta, you’re really getting a lot of that historical narrative,” he said.

The 100-acre donation gifted to Atlanta in 1883 by Lemuel P. Grant welcomes over two million visitors each year and is the oldest existing city park in the city of Atlanta, the executive director stated.

For the birding tour, Mitchell suggested that most people would want to bring their binoculars and added that the center has some to borrow if needed for the tour.

Pieces of the past will be seen during the guided tour such as the Milledge Fountain, Constitution Spring, where horses were watered and trolleys once were.

At one time, there were several springs that ran underground and filled creeks throughout Grant Park. Today just two or possibly three are left. Constitution Spring, which is believed by some to still flow underground, is located near Atlanta Zoo's parking lot.

Credit: Contributed

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Credit: Contributed

As a mother of a toddler, Jessie Grande event coordinator of the APC, believes that it is important to get the full narrative. “... where we come from, what has gone on that shapes our future and affects how we do things now.”

“Nature doesn’t forget and I think it’s a great way to have a songbird remind you of your history far more than someone beating it over your head from an emotional space,” Mitchell said.

Prices: $7-$15.

Address: 327 St Paul Ave SE, Atlanta (404-688-3353).

To register for this tour or to borrow a pair of binoculars, visit

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