Two former Atlanta mayors to be honored with public artwork

Maynard Jackson and his wife Valerie smile as they leave the registration room for qualifying for the mayoral race in Atlanta in 1989. Jackson initiated a plan to bring equal opportunity for city contract awards. (Johnny Crawford/AJC staff)
Maynard Jackson and his wife Valerie smile as they leave the registration room for qualifying for the mayoral race in Atlanta in 1989. Jackson initiated a plan to bring equal opportunity for city contract awards. (Johnny Crawford/AJC staff)

Central Atlanta Progress is launching a project to honor late Atlanta mayors Ivan Allen Jr. and Maynard Jackson.

The project, called Atlanta Legacy Makers, will highlight the legacies of each mayor "and their willingness to unite a divided city," according to a website about the project. The initiative is in partnership with the city of Atlanta.

Allen served as mayor from 1962 to 1970. During that time, Atlanta’s population grew by 32% and major buildings were erected downtown. Allen was also instrumental in bringing Atlanta’s three major sports teams — the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks — to the city.

When the Braves won their first NL West title in 1969, Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. celebrated with future home run king Hank Aaron.
When the Braves won their first NL West title in 1969, Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. celebrated with future home run king Hank Aaron.

Jackson was Atlanta’s first black mayor and served from 1974 to 1982 and again from 1990 to 1994. He helped expand the city’s airport in the 1970s, and following his death in 2003 it was renamed Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Jackson was also instrumental in bringing the ’96 Olympic Games to Atlanta.

To honor the late mayors, a public art piece will be installed where their storylines converge at Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue. There will also be a community engagement series that will include free public educational events and an oral history piece from Atlanta residents.

The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District is asking the public for input on the artwork. Anyone who wants to participate in the project can email hello@atllegacymakers.com. More information on the project can be found at https://www.atllegacymakers.com.


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