Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta
Old Fourth Ward (OFW) is the oldest neighborhood in Atlanta, and it’s one of the most unique. Historically, the OFW was an inexpensive place to live for black families, as slave owners were prohibited from owning property north of the Oconee River. Today, most of the housing in the area has either been torn down or renovated, but Old Fourth Ward remains one of the most historic neighborhoods in Atlanta.
The area around 40th Street and 12th Avenue (not to be confused with the Fourth Ward, which is in the near Southside) is quite close to Midtown, and this is an area with a thriving restaurant and retail scene. It is also home to the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is full of historic homes.
Old Fourth Ward is charming, historic, and filled with attractions. You’ll find art galleries, music venues, restaurants, boutiques, and parks all within walking and driving distance. The restored buildings beautifully blend into the character-filled streets, so you’re never far from a coffee shop or restaurant. When you rent an apartment or condo in Old Fourth Ward, you can enjoy a convenient location in the thriving Midtown neighborhood, while also living among the history.
In the early 1800s, the “Fourth Ward” settlement was annexed into the city limits, which it remains today. The land that is now the Fourth Ward was an original part of the “First Methodist Episcopal Church” (or “First Methodist” for short) in 1825. The land was purchased for about $10,000 and the church was completed in 1829. The church is located at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Leckrone Road. The church burned in a tragic fire on January 7, 1884 and was rebuilt the following year. The church was burned again conservation Office, Fourth Ward got its name in 1848 when the city’s first city clerk’s office was installed in the building that still stands on the corner of Whitaker and East Avenue.
The former warehouse district is now a vibrant neighborhood, with a bustling Wednesday night farmer’s market, plentiful bars and restaurants and a thriving arts scene, most notably the Atlanta Ballet. Spend a few hours exploring the area and you’ll discover some hidden gems. Old Fourth Ward is known for its eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, and bars, and these eateries are a great place to enjoy a meal or snack.
Old Fourth Ward is a great place to live, work, and shop. But if you want to explore that neighborhood for the first time, a local guide can help you get oriented and build a plan for what to see and do. Old Fourth Ward will soon have a local shopping destination within walking distance of the Beltline and Ponce City Market. By the end of September, local development group Southern Pines will be partnering with the Atlanta Regional Commission, Centennial Capital, and the City of Atlanta to build out a new complex that will include Whole Foods, a market, and a Cost Plus World Market. Centennial Capital, a commercial real estate investment firm, will invest $25 million into the project. Old Fourth Ward will have a Whole Foods and a Cost Plus World Market which will anchor the development and have around 20,000 square feet of retail space. The location will be within walking distance of the Beltline and Ponce City Market.