Chastain Park

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Chastain Park
Chastain Park, Atlanta.jpg
Location Buckhead, Fulton County
Nearest city Atlanta, Georgia
Area 268 acres (1.08 km2)
Created 1940
Operated by City of Atlanta
Chastain Park Civic Association
Visitors 1 million (2014)

Chastain Memorial Park (originally known as the North Fulton Park, commonly known as Chastain Park) is the largest city park in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a 268-acre (1.08 km2) park located near the northern edge of the city. Included in the park are jogging paths, playgrounds, tennis courts, a golf course, swimming pool, horse park, and amphitheater.

Neighborhood[edit]

Chastain Park is also a neighborhood on the west side of the park (across Powers Ferry Road to the west). The neighborhood is bordered by the city of Sandy Springs on the north, and by the Atlanta neighborhoods of Mt. Paran/Northside on the west across Northside Drive and Tuxedo Park on the south. It is part of NPU A. The population was 2,398[1] as of 2010.[2]

About the park[edit]

The wedge-shaped park is bounded on the east side by Lake Forrest Drive, on the west-southwest side by Powers Ferry Road, and on the north-northwest end by West Wieuca Road. It is bisected in the middle by Nancy Creek, flowing from east to west. It is surrounded by forested neighborhoods of the Buckhead region of the city, and is located northwest of the original Buckhead Village and the uptown Lenox area.

The land was originally occupied Creek Indians, near the floodplain Nancy Creek. In 1840, the land was acquired by DeKalb County and used as a site for town hall meetings. In 1900, the land was sold to Fulton County with plans to build an almshouse for the poor. In 1909, the North Fulton Alm House opened, providing separate housing for whites and blacks. The housing was designed in a Neoclassical style by architectural firm, Morgan and Dillon. At the start of the Great Depression, the Almshouse Cemetery was constructed.

In 1940, Fulton County proposed to construct a residential area of the land. Both almshouses were planned to be demolished although the cemetery would be left unharmed. Under the direction of Troy Green Chastain (Fultoun County Commissioner) and with help from the Works Progress Administration, the North Fulton neighborhood was born. Out of the original 1,000 acres, 268 became "North Fulton Park". The park was composed of the North Fulton Golf Course, a clubhouse, Olympic-sized swimming pool, tennis courts, gymnasium, bathhouse, horse stables and polo field. The construction of the park was completed in 1945, a year after the death of Chastain. To honor his contribution of the park, the county renamed the park, the "Chastain Memorial Park" on September 25, 1946.

Path[edit]

PATH Foundation began constructing a trail in Chastain Park in 1994, which has since expanded to a three-mile trail around Chastain Park and North Fulton Golf Course. PATH estimates an average of 250 people use the trail each hour, and is developing a second loop in the northern area of the park to meet demand.

Pool[edit]

A pool is also located within Chastain Park. It is a city pool, meaning it is open to the public most of the time, but nonmembers must pay to get in, and there are some times when only members can swim. The Chastain Park Athletic Club swim-team practices at this pool.

Chastain Park Amphitheater[edit]

Chastain Park Amphitheater
Full name Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater
Former names North Fulton Park Amphitheater (1944-46)
Chastain Park Amphitheater (1946-2007)
Address 4469 Stella Dr NW
Atlanta, GA 30327
Location Chastain Park, Buckhead, Fulton County
Owner City of Atlanta
Capacity 6,900
Construction
Broke ground 1942
Opened June 20, 1944 (1944-06-20)
Renovated 1984, 1998, 2004
Construction cost $100,000
($1.44 million in 2015 dollars[3])
Website
Venue Website

The Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater (formally the North Fulton Park Amphitheater and the Chastain Park Amphitheater) is an outdoor amphitheater located within Chastain Park in Atlanta, Georgia. The venue opened in 1944 and is decreed "Atlanta’s Oldest Outdoor Music Venue". The venue attracts more than 200,000 spectators per season.

History[edit]

With the development of the North Fulton Park underway, Fulton County Commissioner, Troy Green Chastain wanted to include an outdoor music venue alongside the other amenities of the park. Due to its last minute addition, original plans saw outdoor bleacher-style seating with a stage and bandshell. Chastain sent scouts to Richmond, Pittsburg, Daytona Beach, Louisville, and Chicago. The venue was modeled after amphitheatre at Byrd Park in Richmond. Construction began in 1942 and was completed in 1944. The venue opened on June 20, 1944 as the "North Fulton Park Amphitheater".

The amphitheater got off to a slow start, mainly due to the effects of World War II and no promotion of events. Chastain died in 1946, with the venue and park being renamed in his honor. In 1952, the City of Atlanta gained ownership of the venue. The city began offering free concerts for the Atlanta Pops Orchestra. A year later, an opera series that ran until 1968. At the time, the venue drew more than 30,000 spectators per year. In 1973, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra began its yearly concert series at the venue. During the first concert series, the ASO was conducted by celebrity bandleaders including: Frankie Laine, Richard Hayman, Henry Mancini, Marvin Hamlisch and Peter Nero.

The venue went through renovations in 1984, 1998 and 2004. In 2007, the venue began a sponsorship with Delta Airlines, now known as the Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater.

About the venue[edit]

The outdoor amphitheater operates only during the summer months. While during most years there are shows between April and October, the majority fall between the end of May and early September. The two main promoters of concerts are the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Live Nation. The capacity is approximately 6,900, with the vast majority of tickets being reserved seating. There is also limited general admission lawn seating at the very back of the amphitheater and at stage right. Only a small number of seats are covered.

For all but a few shows a season, tables are set up in the pit and lower part of the orchestra section. Tables seat six, and all six tickets must be purchased together. Those who do not purchase table seats are allowed to bring in tray-sized tables. Also for the table setup shows, food and drinks, including alcohol, are allowed to be brought in for consumption. Elaborate setups with nice food, tablecloths, and candles are common. However, there are a small number of shows each season with a "rock" setup. Here there are no tables or carry-ins. Instead of tables in the pit, only rows of chairs are set up. Parking is limited and traffic can be heavy on nights when the show is sold out.

The amphitheater was once the venue for "Theatre Under the Stars," a summer season of Broadway musicals and/or comedies which always featured a well-known actor as its star.[4] In 1968, after moving into the then-new Atlanta Civic Center, "Theatre Under the Stars" became "Theatre Of the Stars." In the 1980s, "Theatre Of the Stars" moved into the Fox Theatre, and in 2013, the project announced that it was finally closing after sixty years.[5]

Performers[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°52′36″N 84°23′46″W / 33.876772°N 84.396157°W / 33.876772; -84.396157