Monday, August 30, 2021

"Ancient" Police Lockup Box in Inman Park

In a 1935 article in The Atlanta Constitution, a reporter theorized that the "interesting relic", "ancient lockup box" in Inman Park, which had not been in use for more than 35 years at the time of that article, would likely be dismantled due to leaking and damaging stored parcels and coats.

This is one of those rare incidents where preservationists in Atlanta have persevered and saved an artifact from old Atlanta, now at least more than 130 years old! Various reports tell that these lockup boxes were used in Atlanta from 1890 until around 1905.

Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

Speaking of 1890, that's about the time that Inman Park was established and it was Atlanta's first suburb. Today it's certainly not considered an "outlying district" but it is an historic neighborhood—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—with an amazing annual festival, an abundance of charm, delicious and delightful dining destinations, and a unique police lockup box!

Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

The photo accompanying an article in The Atlanta Constitution, dated June 30, 1935, shows patrolman M. R. Dodd standing next to this lockup box. Dodd said that his father, Asa Dodd, also a policeman, had used this same box 47 years prior.

Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

The Atlanta Constitution reported July 16, 1935, that Atlanta banker and collector John K. Lottley was purchased the police lockup box for $1. Following the death of Lottley, this box was on display at the Cyclorama, in the basement, when the Cyclorama was in Grant Park.

Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

According to Celestine Sibley in a 1974 article in The Atlanta Constitution there was once a marker that accompanied the Lockup Box. The marker, dated 1935, read: "Many a miscreant got his first taste of Atlanta hospitality when he was lodged in this lockup box to await transportation to roomier quarters. 

"Nearly 50 years ago before the advent of telephone and motor-driven patrol wagon, the City of Atlanta installed four of these lockup boxes at various points. Arresting officers would confine their prisoners in the depositories while they would await the horse-drawn Black Maria which would make its rounds to collect human cargo as regularly as the postman does to collect mail. 

"These boxes also served as lockers in which police would store their helmets, night sticks, raincoats and other belongings. This particular lockup was located at the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Delta Place and although its use was abandoned by the city about 25 years ago, it remained there until acquired for this collection in July 1935."

Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

I've found no record of what happened to the other three lockup boxes, but this one was returned to its original spot, where it sits today in Delta Park, in time for the 3rd Annual Inman Park Festival & Tour of Homes held in late April 1974.

Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Police Lockup Box in Inman Park | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

A couple of blocks down the street is The Trolley Barn, once the home of the first electric streetcar system in the United States! Do check out the beautiful, vibrant, and historic Inman Park neighborhood. But first, go to Delta Park and step inside this piece of history, perhaps the last of its kind in the whole of Atlanta!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Flatiron Bar in East Atlanta Village

Yesterday, after running some errands, I decided to experience lunch at a restaurant that has been on my list for years. I should not have waited so long...

Flatiron Bar & Restaurant is awesome! Serving up thirst-quenching beers and libations, award-winning delicious food, in a friendly neighborhood atmosphere since 1997, this 21 and up, non-smoking bar with a dog-friendly patio is open from lunch until midnight!

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

You'll see why it's called "Flatiron" as soon as you see the building. Did you know that Atlanta has more than one flatiron building? The downtown Atlanta 1897 Flatiron Building is chapter 6 in my book and Flatiron Bar in East Atlanta Village is the "tip" on the photo page! I'll share more about this particular building further down. Keep reading!

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

One of the first things I noticed here is how attentive and friendly the staff are. I'd barely warmed my barstool before I had a menu and a draft beer in front of me. The three people behind the bar were seemingly performing an elaborate symphony—serving, chatting with patrons, cleaning, bringing food and taking dishes...it's fascinating to watch! I was here at 3pm and there was a surprising number of diners—a great sign!

Even though I use "symphony" as a descriptor you can probably tell from the restaurant's chosen font for its sign that the music of choice is Rock. I heard something about live music, so that might be something you want to ask about when you stop in.

I asked my server for recommendations for lunch. He went through a few and when I heard Spicy Fried Cauliflower my resounding "Yes!" screeched the recitation to a halt. I've had a LOT of cauliflower dishes over the years, but my Southerner love of all-things-fried has a new love. You can see the phenomenal crunch on these and the cauliflower was oh-so-creamy! I opted for the blue cheese dipping sauce, which is amazing, but there are others available. A Sweetwater 420 draft was the perfect accompaniment. 

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

The decor is, well, it's eclectic. There are stickers everywhere, an antler chandelier, neon in the upper windows around the main dining room, Edison light bulbs, various mediums of art, and taxidermy in the form of a warthog (or maybe it was a boar), a turkey, and several deer. The deer with an eye patch made me laugh. Totally made me think of Nick Fury, of the Marvel Universe, played by Samuel L. Jackson. The eye could wander for hours just on the decor, from the tin ceiling to the amazing early 20th century architecture...

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

I almost ordered the Umami Burger but opted for the Smash Burger. They all sound amazing! The Smash Burger is made with angus beef, beer-braised onions, house pickles, and American cheese, and I opted for the tots...some of the best tots ever

The tots were super crispy, just the way I love them! The burger was delicious on so many levels. I love a loaded burger, but when it has only a few ingredients, those should be meticulously curated and of the highest quality and that's what we have here. When you have a burger craving, this is one that satisfies!

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

While my tastebuds were being delighted my imagination was all over the place! Again, the decor is awesome and lends itself to all kinds of stories. I was on my own on this visit, but I highly recommend visiting with friends. Although I had a great time, I get the sense that this is a the-more-the-merrier situation. 

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

One of the recommendations my very attentive server had made earlier was the chicken wings and indeed others at the bar were enjoying them—it was obvious that I had to try them, so I got an order of the Buffalo Wings with the Blue Cheese sauce, of course. I enjoyed them later at home and they are indeed excellent! They also come in lemon pepper, barbeque, cowboy, and teriyaki.

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

In the heart of East Atlanta Village, the ground-breaking for this building was Wednesday, November 2, 1910, for the future home of East Atlanta Bank, which you can barely make out on the front of the building near the 1910 marker at the top. 

According to an AJC article the following day, socialite Miss Louise Marbut "took up the first shovel of earth". The bank, which cost $5,500 to build, officially opened at noon on Wednesday, March 15, 1911, with a capital of $25,000. Following speeches, the opening was celebrated with "an old-fashioned barbecue"! I find it fascinating that the building's roots include a nod to sharing food and drink together.

One of the profound lessons I've learned by living through a pandemic is to NOT ignore one's "want to experience" list! We've seen far too many businesses have to shutter their doors in the last year and a half. The opportunity for "I really want to go there, I'll go sometime soon" has vanished for so many places on our lists, whether written down or in our heads.

Life is short, my friends. Get out there and see and do everything you possibly can. Don't wait for "some day". Make that day today! Perhaps your list will now include Flatiron Bar & Restaurant!