At the end of the nineteenth century, the area near the intersection of today's 10th Street and Hemphill Avenue was just woods and fields. Called Chastaintown, it was a horse trading center. In 1901, the Atlanta Steel Hoop Company opened a manufacturing plant here to turn out hoops for cotton bales. Six years later, it became the Atlantic Steel Company, which grew into one of Atlanta's largest manufacturing facilities.
The growth of the steel company and other businesses on West Marietta Street, Brady Avenue and Howell Mill Road fueled residential development in what became Home Park. As the intersection at 10th and Hemphill became more commercial, it became the social center of the neighborhood. There was a grocery store, a drug store and a barbershop, and the streetcar took Home Park residents downtown. Three high schools were also on the streetcar line, which had been constructed to serve Atlantic Steel and Georgia Tech.
By 1970, Georgia Tech was growing north and west along 10th Street and Northside Drive, buying up blocks of residential property. As the institution grew in the 70s and 80s, it ran out of room in the dormitories. Investors bought up Home Park houses to rent them out to students. The steel company relocated its main facility to Cartersville. By the 1990s, with a transient student population dominating the neighborhood, Home Park had become run down, with an owner-occupancy rate of just 35 percent.
The neighborhood began to turn around after a team of residents, architects, city planners and business leaders created a master plan in 2002. Today, because of its location and affordable housing stock, built over the last 100 years, Home Park has become a very desirable neighborhood – "the heart of West Midtown." The development of Atlantic Station on the site of the old steel mill in 2005 added houses, town homes and duplexes along the northern border of the neighborhood.
Home Park is convenient to Midtown; downtown; Buckhead; Georgia Tech and I-75 and I-85. And Home Park has high-quality educational options from pre-school all the way through graduate school.
The R. Kirk Landon Learning Center, run by Bright Horizons, serves residents of Home Park and parents affiliated with Georgia Tech. It provides childcare for ages six weeks through five years. Bright Horizons also operates the Children's [email protected] Georgia Tech, again, for Home Park residents and the Georgia Tech family.
Centennial Place Elementary, for K-5, is a public school that converted to a charter school and adopted the model of STEM education. The school is working with Georgia Tech to develop a program that builds science, technology, engineering and math into every part of the curriculum, without neglecting the arts. Its students perform well above the state standards, and Centennial Place has been named a Distinguished School.
Other area elementary schools are Hope Hill Elementary, Mary Lin Elementary, Morningside Elementary and Springdale Park Elementary.
Home Park middle schoolers attend Inman Middle School, which draws from several in-town neighborhoods. In 2013, the Georgia Department of Education named it to the list of Highest-Performing Schools. It was one of only four middle schools statewide to earn this distinction and one of only two Atlanta Public Schools recognized.
The high school for Home Park is Grady High School, which has a history of strong academics. The curriculum includes Business and Entrepreneurship and Biomedical Sciences and Engineering.