Southwest of Atlanta's central business district, Philips Arena, the Georgia Dome and the Georgia World Congress Center lies Castleberry Hill, a hip and historic neighborhood that grew up along the railroad after the Civil War. As Atlanta became a regional rail distribution center, Peters Street became a trade and commercial strip that served railroad-related businesses and working-class people who began to move in to the area. It was a thriving commercial area where laborers, carpenters, tailors, butchers and other trades people lived so they were close to work. In 1878, the first mule-drawn trolley traveled Peters Street.
In the early 20th century, two of the largest meat packing companies in the country were located in Castleberry Hill. Bustling Peters Street continued to anchor the neighborhood. But by the 1990s, the area was in decline.
The National Park Service named the Castleberry Hill Historic District, a 40-acre area, to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The district, which includes 100 one- to three-story brick retail and industrial buildings, is all that remains to document Atlanta's origins as a 19th century railroad town. In 2006, Castleberry Hill became one of only eight neighborhoods in Atlanta to be designated as a Landmark District.
Following the Olympics in 1996, Castleberry Hill began to attract artists and creative entrepreneurs who were attracted by the idea of living and working downtown. They began to renovate the old commercial and industrial building for loft living.
Today, Peters Street connects downtown and the West End and is an active hub of galleries, boutiques and eateries. Castleberry Hill has earned reputation as one of the Top 10 Arts Districts in the Country. It has the Best Art Stroll in Atlanta. On the second Friday of every month, people come from all around to visit galleries, sample wines and enjoy live music – and free parking.