During the Battle of Atlanta, the land which later became Inman Park was the center of many skirmishes. After the Civil War, Inman Park became Atlanta's first planned community and one of the nation's first garden suburbs. It was conceived and developed in the 1880s by entrepreneur Joel Hurt, who believed people should live in a country-like atmosphere convenient to the central business district. To achieve this goal, he insisted on large lots, curving streets, and open park areas throughout the neighborhood. In 1889 he sold, at auction, land lots upon which gracious Victorian mansions were built. In the center of the new community Hurt set aside ten acres for Crystal Lake and Springvale Park, whose spacious grounds were landscaped with rare trees and shrubs, many of which were new varieties to Atlanta. Never short of innovations, Hurt also formed one of the nation's first streetcar systems to provide "rapid transit" from Inman Park to downtown. The trolley route terminated at the Trolley Barn, which still stands today on Edgewood Avenue, just one block from the neighborhood's new MARTA station. Inman Park was an immediate success, and many of Atlanta's most prominent citizens took up residence in the community. Families picnicked in beautiful Springvale Park and took leisurely strolls around Crystal Lake. Churches were active, and a strong community spirit prevailed. Those were sunny days for Inman Park. It was not only a good place to live, it was THE place to live.
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