Kirkwood is an Atlanta neighborhood located approximately 5 miles due east of downtown. Founded as a residential development in the 1870s, Kirkwood incorporated as an independent municipality in 1899 and was annexed by the city of Atlanta in 1922. Since then the history of Kirkwood has been a rich mirror of the history of urban neighborhoods across the United States. In the years since its beginnings as a streetcar suburb of Atlanta, Kirkwood has experienced the post-World War II population boom, the middle-class suburbanization of the 1950s, white-flight in the 1960s, urban decay in the late 1970s and 1980s, and is experiencing rapid gentrification today. Arguably, Kirkwood is the archetype of the twentieth century urban neighborhood.
The purpose of this website is to document the rich history of this urban archetype and make that history accessible to those who have lived that history in the past and are creating the future history today. On this website you will find transcripts of oral history interviews of a broad cross-section of Kirkwood residents, past and present; brief video clips of highlights from the interviews, and digitize documents profiling the history of this neighborhood. We hope that this project will not only document the history of the neighborhood, but will bring neighbors together in celebration of that shared history.
Read and see the interviews and other material we have assembled for this project in hopes of maintaining the history of Kirkwood.