Visit metro Atlanta’s destinations that honor women

Jenny Levison opened Souper Jenny in 1999 and now has five locations in metro Atlanta. 
Courtesy by Jenny Levison.
Caption
Jenny Levison opened Souper Jenny in 1999 and now has five locations in metro Atlanta. Courtesy by Jenny Levison.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

There are plenty of places that honor women and their achievements. Here are a few.

Putting someone’s name on a building shows the person was highly regarded in his or her community — or at least that person’s money. Either way, people of note are memorialized for as long as that building stands. Around Atlanta, many prominent names dot buildings, schools, hospitals and parks, including Woodruff, Marcus, Spalding, Goizueta, Zaban and King.

But how many are women?

Quite a few, it seems.

Many important buildings were named after women, but you wouldn’t know it. For instance, The High Museum of Art is named for Harriet “Hattie” Harwell Wilson High, who donated her family’s Peachtree Street house as the museum’s first permanent home. The Weber School is named after Felicia Penzell Weber, a strong advocate for education and Jewish values. At one point, the school was called The Felicia Penzell Weber Jewish Community High School. Similarly, Berry College was founded by Martha McChesney Berry.

Some of the tributes are a little less direct. Robert Winship Woodruff, former president of The Coca-Cola Co., named the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University after his grandfather as a way of honoring his mother who died of cancer. Who knows why he just didn’t name it after his mother.

Other buildings are named after couples — but at least the women get equal billing. The Jean and Elwood Wright Environmental Education Center, located in east Cobb, features 19 acres of protected land with walking trails. A student residential center at Emory University is named for George and Irene Woodruff.

There is the Dora and Ed Voyles Breast Health Center at Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital and an assistive technology center at the Shepherd Center.

In honor of Women’s History Month in March, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found dozens of places with women’s names attached to them, although certainly not all. Here are some of the esteemed women with physical salutations for their generosity and accomplishments.

The High Museum of Art was named after Harriet “Hattie” Harwell Wilson High. Portrait by Sidney Edward Dickinson. 
Courtesy of the High Museum of Art.
Caption
The High Museum of Art was named after Harriet “Hattie” Harwell Wilson High. Portrait by Sidney Edward Dickinson. Courtesy of the High Museum of Art.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Education

Dr. Bobbie Bailey was president and founder of Our-Way, which manufactured prefabricated refrigeration compressors. Perhaps the only woman on our list who solely earned the money she donated, Bailey is the namesake of the Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center at Kennesaw State University as well as the Bobbie Bailey Athletic Complex and Bailey Park. In addition, she funded the Audrey and Jack Morgan Concert Hall, which honors her sister and brother-in-law. The university recently renamed its music school the Dr. Bobbi Bailey School of Music.

The Bobbie Bailey Athletic Complex and Bailey Park is just one of the buildings businesswoman Dr. Bobbie Bailey funded at Kennesaw State University. 
Courtesy of Kennesaw State University.
Caption
The Bobbie Bailey Athletic Complex and Bailey Park is just one of the buildings businesswoman Dr. Bobbie Bailey funded at Kennesaw State University. Courtesy of Kennesaw State University.

Credit: Brian C. Robbins

Credit: Brian C. Robbins

Agnes Scott was born into poverty in Northern Ireland and immigrated to the U.S. Her son, George Washington Scott, along with a group of Presbyterian leaders, founded a college for women in 1889 in Decatur and named it after her.

Helen M. Aderhold Learning Center at Georgia State University honors the wife of John Aderhold, who was president and CEO of Rayloc. Mrs. Aderhold was a Georgia State graduate, and the building houses classrooms and lecture halls.

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University was named after the wife of Coco-Cola’s Robert W. Woodruff. In Gwinnett County, the namesake of the Louise Radloff Middle School in Gwinnett County was an education advocate who was also the first Republican elected to public office in the county and a past president of the Georgia School Board Association.

The Shirley A. Massey Executive Conference Center at the Morehouse School of Medicine is named after the wife of Walter E. Massey, Morehouse’s ninth president. Spelman College was founded by Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles in 1881 and later was changed to Spelman Seminary in honor of Laura Spelman Rockefeller and her parents, Harvey Buel and Lucy Henry Spelman, longtime antislavery activists.

Atlanta’s Mary Lin Elementary is named after its principal of 27 years. Sarah Rawson Smith Elementary school was originally the Marion Smith Elementary School but was later changed to Sarah Rawson Smith Elementary School in 1954. Baldwin Elementary School in Gwinnett County is named after Beauty Baldwin, the state’s first Black female superintendent in Buford City Schools.

Gardens and parks

Goizueta Gardens at the Atlanta History Center honors Olguita “Olga” Casteleiro de Goizueta, the wife of Roberto Goizueta, the former CEO and chairman of The Coca-Cola Co. The 33-acre landscape encompasses nine distinct gardens, including Olguita’s Garden, an ornamental garden designed for quiet reflection.

The entrance to Olguita’s Gardens at the Goizueta Gardens at the Atlanta History Center is a beautiful place for contemplation and relaxation. 
Courtesy of the Atlanta History Center.
Caption
The entrance to Olguita’s Gardens at the Goizueta Gardens at the Atlanta History Center is a beautiful place for contemplation and relaxation. Courtesy of the Atlanta History Center.

Credit: Jason C. Hales

Credit: Jason C. Hales

Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory at the Atlanta Botanical Garden hosts several distinct environments, including a tropical rainforest and South African Desert.

Lillian Webb Park is named after a barrier-breaking Republican politician and former mayor of Norcross and Gwinnett County Commissioner. The family of Violet F. Stout donated 217 acres in Lithia Springs for a park, including an equestrian center. The Sara González Memorial Park on Atlanta’s Westside is the state’s first park named for a Latinx individual. She was the president and CEO of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

ExploreHow a park became a daughter's tribute to the woman who inspired her to give back.

Overall, there may be more than 20 parks in the metro area named after women including Ella Mae Brayboy, a voter registration activist; Liane Levetan, former CEO of DeKalb County; Dr. Mary Shy Scott, the former international president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and Selena S. Butler, founder of the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers Association and considered one of the founders of the PTA.

Medical

The Henrietta Egleston Memorial Hospital for Children was opened in 1928 but merged with Scottish Rite Medical Center to form Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus has put the family name on a variety of buildings, many with a medical bent, but the Billi Marcus Building at the Shepherd Center is the only one where his wife gets sole billing.

In 2000 Jane Woodruff, daughter of Coca-Cola board member, George W. Woodruff, donated $6 million in seed money for a new 171,480-square-foot addition at the Shepherd Center, now called the Jane Woodruff Pavilion.

Restaurants

Metro Atlanta boasts several female chefs and restaurant owners, but most don’t put their names on the door. Still, we have Mary Mac’s, which was opened in 1945 by Mary MacKenzie, and Souper Jenny, which Jenny Levison opened in 1999 and now has five locations. Tassili Ma’at opened Tassili’s Raw Reality Cafe on the Westside and serves raw vegan fare. Nakato Japanese Restaurant was opened in 1972 by Tetsuko Nakato and today her granddaughter, Sachiyo “Sachi” Nakato Takahara, is in charge.

Tassili's Raw Reality Cafe.
Caption
Tassili's Raw Reality Cafe.

Credit: Tyson Horne

Credit: Tyson Horne

Government

Gwinnett County boasts three buildings named after women: the Charlotte J. Nash Court Building (a new expansion of the courthouse in Lawrenceville); the Louise Radloff Administration Center ( a board of health building), and the Beauty P. Baldwin Building (which houses the Gwinnett County Voter and Elections Registrations Office and the GNR Health Lawrenceville Clinic).

Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, at the Cobb County Civic Center, is a 606-seat performing arts theatre named after the co-founder of the Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society.

Streets

Civil rights activist Xernona Clayton was the second woman to be honored with a street and plaza designation in Atlanta; the first was Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone With the Wind.” Mitchell also has a museum on Peachtree Street.

May 30, 2012-Atlanta-Margaret Mitchell House - 50 Things to do in Atlanta e-book. VINO WONG / VWONG@AJC.COM
Caption
May 30, 2012-Atlanta-Margaret Mitchell House - 50 Things to do in Atlanta e-book. VINO WONG / VWONG@AJC.COM

Nonprofit home

The Carrie Steele-Pitts Home was started more than 130 years ago to help children. Carrie Steele, a Black woman, worked as a maid at the Union Railroad Station where she discovered that children were being abandoned. She built the Carrie Steele Orphan Home and started caring for them. Today, the 35-acre campus is a state-approved residency for vulnerable youth with five cottages where children (20 to a cottage) live with house parents and receive supportive education, health and wellness support. On the campus is the 27,155-square-foot Ollivette Eugenia Smith Allison Life Learning Center, which is equipped with an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, chapel, computer lab, classrooms, kitchen and multipurpose room.

Art

“Atlanta from the Ashes” portrays a woman holding the phoenix symbolizes the city rising from the ashes of the Civil War. Given to the city by the Rich Foundation, it is located in Woodruff Park.

Artful Five Points. The stately lady personifying 'Atlanta from the Ashes,' which once stood on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at Rich's, now makes the south entrance to Woodruff Park. (AJC Staff Photo/Erick Williams) June/1996
Caption
Artful Five Points. The stately lady personifying 'Atlanta from the Ashes,' which once stood on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at Rich's, now makes the south entrance to Woodruff Park. (AJC Staff Photo/Erick Williams) June/1996

Credit: ERIC WILLIAMS

Credit: ERIC WILLIAMS

“Ballet Olympia” was adapted by John C. Portman from the original sculpture by Paul Manship and is located at One Peachtree Center. It features two women dancing with ribbons.

Located at the Broad Street Plaza is a statue, “Architect for the Future,” portraying former Atlanta City Council member Barbara Asher. The bronze, granite and cement sculpture was done by Don Haugen and Teena Stern.

Just north of Piedmont Park’s 14th Street entrance is “Pioneer Women,” a memorial that honors former members of the Atlanta Pioneer Women’s Society. The memorial, designed by Steffen Thomas, consists of a boulder with two bronze plaques, one side shows a woman at a spinning wheel.

Among the High Museum’s permanent collection is “Pioneers, Influencer and Rising Voices: Women in the Collection,” which celebrates the centennial of the 19th Amendment that gave some women the right to vote. The installation features works by local artist Annette Cone Skelton.

“Yes, We Can” is an 18-foot-tall structure adorned with 20 running figures and serves as a gateway to the Isabel Gates Webster Park. The sculpture was designed by Athens sculptor Robert D. Clements. Webster was a well-known employment and discrimination attorney.

WHERE TO GO

Bobbie Bailey Athletic Complex. Open during games. 220 Kennesaw State University Road, Kennesaw. 470-578-6000, ksuowls.com/facilities/bobbie-bailey-athletic-complex/3

Goizueta Gardens. Tuesdays-Sundays: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Monday. Adults: $23.41; Students: $19.60; Youth: 4-12: $9.80; 65+: $19.60. Atlanta History Center 130 West Paces Ferry Road. 404-814-4000, atlantahistorycenter.com.

Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory. Tuesdays-Sundays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Closed Mondays. Adults: $21.95; Children 3-12: $18.95; Children under 3: Free. Atlanta Botanical Garden 1345 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. 404-876-5859, atlantabg.org.

High Museum of Art. Mondays-Saturdays: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Mondays: Closed. $14.50. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-4400, high.org