Q: I’ve seen news reports about events in Old Fourth Ward. I’m wondering exactly where this area is? I have lived in the Atlanta area for over 30 years, but only heard of this name the past few years.
—Perry Birdsall, Covington
A: If you go to Old Third Ward and take a right, you can’t miss it. If you get to Old Fifth Ward, you’ve gone too far. It’s actually the remnants of the historic Fourth Ward political district that’s been revitalized into a popular residential area with new lofts, restaurants, galleries, shopping and nightlife, just east of downtown Atlanta. Old Fourth Ward – or O4W -- district begins at Piedmont Avenue on the west, extends north to Ponce de Leon Avenue and goes east until it reaches the neighborhoods of Poncey-Highland and Inman Park. Part of its southern boundary extends to Oakland Cemetery and the Grant Park and Cabbagetown areas, but it stops at its border with Sweet Auburn to the southwest. It was a popular area to live for both whites and blacks until the middle of the 20th century, when the whites moved out of the area and it began to decline. Old Fourth Ward included Buttermilk Bottom, a slum area that was torn down in the 1960s to make room for city projects. An initiative, called “2012: The Year of Boulevard” is focused on “improving public safety and quality of life” on Boulevard, a main thoroughfare with a bad reputation that runs from Ponce to DeKalb Avenue.
Q: I remember a case in the 1980s involving a local personality who was allegedly murdered by her husband. I believe his name was Hans Krause. Was there any resolution to that case, and if so, what was it?
—David Manecke, Mableton
A: There was never enough evidence to try Krause in criminal court, but in July 1991, a DeKalb County Superior Court jury “determined that it was probable” he strangled his wife Connie Vance Krause and hid her body in the trunk of her car, according to newspaper articles. It was believed to be the first time in Georgia that a person was held accountable for a murder without being charged with a crime. The civil suit determined that Krause couldn’t receive his wife’s insurance benefits and allowed the Vance family to receive it and other items from her estate, according to newspaper articles. Krause exhausted his appeals by 1993. Connie Vance Krause had been a TV news personality, but was working in public relations for an accounting firm at the time of her death in 1989. The Krauses worked together at WJBF-TV in Augusta in the 1980s before moving to Atlanta.
What do you want to know about Georgia?
If you’re new in town or have questions about this special place we call home, ask us! E-mail Andy Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org.