Northwest of downtown Atlanta is Howell Station, a historic neighborhood that flourished as a blue-collar community that grew up around the Western & Atlantic Railroad, which came through the city in 1842. During the Civil War, the area was graced by a plantation that served as the headquarters of General Joseph E. Johnston, who surrendered to William Tecumseh Sherman in North Carolina in April 1865, after learning that Robert E. Lee had surrendered several days earlier to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox.
The plantation and almost all of the buildings in the area had already been destroyed in Sherman's march to the sea, and it wasn't until the 1890s that real estate developers laid out a grid and subdivided it into lots. Industrialization began to expand the area. The Exposition Cotton Mills opened in 1892, followed by other manufacturers along Marietta Street.
Today, the neighborhood of Howell Station includes a historic district recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. It's bounded by West Marietta Street on the north, Herndon Street and the Mead Packaging Company on the east, Baylor Street and the Fulton County Jail on the south and Marietta Boulevard and Rice Street on the west. It encompasses intact residential structures built before 1947, four churches, Knight Park and a grocery store at the corner of Longley Avenue and West Marietta Street.
Housing in Howell Station covers a range of 19th and 20th styles: Neo-Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, Bungalow, Craftsman, Folk Victorian, Gabled-Ell cottage, Shotgun, Georgian cottage, Queen Ann cottage, New South cottage and Hall-Parlor. There is a neighborhood association that protects and promotes neighborhood interests.
Among the benefits of living in Howell Station are the proximity to the King Plow Arts Center and to Bellwood Quarry, the future site of one of the new city parks that will spring up along the Atlanta BeltLine. Bellwood Quarry will be the city's biggest park. Projected to cost $38 million, it will be built in phases over 15 years.
Howell Station is located in Subarea 9 of the BeltLine, which is the urban revitalization plan to link 45 Atlanta neighborhoods with a ring of parks, trails and light rail using what had been abandoned railway beds and brownfields surrounding the city.
Another benefit, for members of the Howell Station Neighborhood Association, is a rewards card for discounts at local restaurants, cafes, museums, gyms, hairdressers, yoga studios and other neighborhood businesses. Sales of the rewards cards fund the association's annual events, including a chili cook-off, an Easter egg hunt, a Fourth of July parade and a Halloween party.
Nearby public schools include Best Academy, Bolton Academy, Boyd Elementary School, Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy, Grove Park Elementary School, Scott Elementary School, Usher Elementary School, Woodson Elementary School and Douglass High School. Among the private schools are the Berean Christian Junior Academy; the Bridge School; Dar-Un-Noor School, one of the first Islamic schools in Atlanta; and the Howard School, which offers elementary, middle and high school curricula for students with language-based learning disabilities.