Have you visited Atlanta? Or plan to visit Atlanta? For me this is the first city that I saw when I reached USA. My visit in the city was not for leisure trip but a business reason. But, I still tried to explore the city even my first 10 days has been raining. I still tried to explore this city at the south. And during my exploration, I enjoyed discovering Atlanta.
Below are rank of the places that I visited. What are yours?
When I learned about the movie “Gone With the Wind” and the author of the famous movie of all time has museum in Atlanta which was her former house and exhibits most about her, I felt excited as I got a chance to discover more about her and about the movie.
The name of the street itself is famous in Atlanta. And don’t be surprised if you will encounter lots of streets with the name “Peachtree”. It has its own reason, because it has historical significance in the city.
After my usual Sunday morning activity, I decided to visit Center for Civil and Human Rights where I spent almost half a day of my time. From Doraville Station, I got off at Peachtree Center Station. And the station reminded me one of the longest escalator that I ever experienced. From Peachtree Center Station, I walked my usual path going to Pemberton Place since its not my first time to go there at that time. I walked straight towards the museum that I planned to visit that day.
Entrance/Exit Peachtree St NE
The name of the museum itself signifies that it’s not a typical or usual museum because it tackles a serious matter that affects everyone. Even though it exhibits a deliberate thing and most likely not so popular like World of Coca-Cola and Georgia Aquarium when it comes to visitor or tourist, one thing that made me decided to visit the museum was to find out what happened and Atlanta was able to build museum for a very important aspect of human beings to have. I was curious on the reasons behind to build such a beautiful and modern building to express information about civil and human rights. Before I entered to such a lovely building center in Pemberton Place, I appreciated the concept of modern architecture of the museum which for me means one thing, Atlanta or let say Georgia gives so much high regards about people’s innate rights to live.
The moment I entered the building’s lobby, I immediately sense that the building’s modern architecture cannot only be seen from the outside but even inside of the museum. Its simple design is truly visible and portrays cleanliness of the center since the building just built a year ago before I visited the center. The lobby has glass wall from floor to ceiling to its front side while the rest of the walls was painted with white, it has stairs on the left side and beside it the information desk can be found. One thing that is noticeable in the lobby is the huge mural displays on the wall that depicts some of the civil and human rights theme showing a big hand at the center.
The museum has a lot of exhibits that showcases about civil and human rights, but on this post I will at least emphasize the exhibits related to the theme of American Civil Rights Movement since its the exhibit that I have almost photos captured if not all. Then, the rest of the photos from other part of the exhibit will just be displayed with few details.
Rolls Down Like Water : The American Civil Rights Movement
“Rolls Down Like Water: The American Civil Rights Movement” is an interactive gallery that opens with examples of segregation in the United States as embodied in Jim Crow laws and signs designating facilities as “whites only”. Designed by George C. Wolfe, the Tony Award-winning playwright, the gallery is broken up into multiple sections, each marked by a significant event in the civil rights movement, like Brown vs. Board of Education. A number of the exhibits are interactive, including a recreation of a lunch counter sit-in complete with headphones that simulate the taunts and threats leveled at activists.
Source : Wikipedia
Introduction 1950s/Urban South
This gallery explores life in the 1950s in the Urban South through displays featuring Jim Crow laws and the people in power who vocally and violently enforced segregation. This gallery also includes a map of Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue, which became a symbol of African American empowerment around the country of its thriving community and vibrant institutions.
Source : Civil Center and Human Rights website
From the lobby of the museum, I started my journey to find out what the museum is all about. At the beginning of my exploration, first thing to noticed are both side walls has old photos that shows the life in few decades passed. Facing toward the exhibits from the lobby, at my right side, shows the “Colored” and at my left side shows the “White”. At first, I did not understand what it meant until I finished checking and reading the notes displayed in each exhibits in that part of the museum.
I moved on to other exhibits and I discovered that because of color differences or racial differences, there were segregation happened in USA and my mind was blown away of surprise because all the exhibits showcasing that the colored (which commonly the black colored) and whites has to be separate in almost everything if not all. This segregation is actually called “Jim Crow” Law. This law is a state and local laws that mandated a separate but equal existence for non-whites, defining where they could live and work and go to school, how they could eat and drink, use public transportation – and vote. If this law was broke by African-American or negro, he/she has to faced arrest and most of the time received violent punishment.
The famous advocates of Segregation
One thing to learn in the museum was about the rise of the African-American even they lived in a limited spaces while the Jim Crow Law was implemented. They never stopped to strive for education and business institutions within the confines of segregation. But it was not easy as history tells us there were lots of sacrifices happened within the period of segregation was happening.
In the museum I discovered that City of Atlanta was able to developed a community composed of institutions for educations, businesses and cultural hubs that helped and supported African-American just after Civil War. The inspiring on this aspect was the time of its development was happening in the height of poverty and discrimination. Therefore, Atlanta is nationally recognized as symbol of African-American self-empowerment. Because of this information, I do understand why this museum is in the city, because the city itself has big role to achieved such a historical moment for the African-American rights.
The exhibit also displays information that mentioning the place called to be “The Richest Negro Street in the World” in 1956 by Fortune Magazine which is Auburn Avenue (Sweet Auburn) where the hub for African-American commerce and social life with black-owned businesses, entertainment venues and churches in Atlanta are located.
Here are the following institutions for African-American within the vicinity of Sweet Auburn, all the summary excerpt information describes each establishments are came from the museum which I captured through my photos.
Ebenezer Baptist Church (6077)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. maternal grandfather Reverend A.D Williams, pastored the church followed by his father Martin Luther King Sr. who helped lead campaigns against unfair merchants and was involved with a lawsuit to equalize the salaries of black and white teachers. Then, King Jr co-pastored the church with his father.
Wheat Street Baptist Church (6080 Right)
Led by Reverend William Holmes Borders. He was instrumental in the hiring of Atlanta’s first African-American police officers, led the campaign to desegregate the city’s buses in 1957 and established the nations’s first federally subsidized, church operated housing project in 1960s.
Prince Hall Masonic Temple (6080 Left, 6083 Right)
John Wesley Dobbs, the longtime leader of Prince Hall Masonic Temple and John Calhoun Jr. of the NAACP led numerous events to register voters across Georgia after the a court ruling that Georgia white primary was unconstitutional which resulted to more than 100,000 African-American Georgians registering to vote in 1946. This also resulted to desegregation of Atlanta police officer in 1948 and influenced mayoral elections for decades.
It was also home to Atlanta’s WERD Radio (the nation’s first black-owned radio station purchased by Jess B Playton, a professor in Atlanta. The radio broadcasted music, sermons and news programming.
Big Bethel Ame Church (6083 Left)
The church led by Reverend Harold I. Bearden. His sermons about racism and civil rights were broadcast over Atlanta’s WERD Radio.
It is a central meeting space for the community and a driver of social action.
It is also known for its annual performance of the morality play Heaven Bound.
The Royal Peacock (6085, 6087 Left) / Paschal’s Restaurant
The Royal Peacock was the key Atlanta stop on the “chitlin circuit” of prominent African-American performance venues. The partygoers of Auburn Avenue would often dine at Paschal’s restuarant, enjoying such Southern specialties as golder fried chicken, collard greens and corn bread. Owned by two African-American brothers, James and Robert Paschal.
It was a hangout for intellectuals and students from the nearby Atlanta Univesity Center, and a key meeting place for civil rights gatherings. As Coretta Scott King said, “Paschal is as important as historical site for the American civil rights movement as Boston’s Faneuil Hall is to the American Revolution.
Butler Street YMCA (6087 Right)
It became a training ground for young leaders as well as residential lodge for many newcomers to Atlanta.
It served as the home location for the city’s first African-American police officers in 1948 due to lack of desegregated police facilities
Atlanta Life Insurance Company (6089 Right) / Citizens Trust Bank
Atlanta Life Insurance Company founder Alonzo Herndon viewed his investment in Atlanta Life as an opportunity to provide a valuable service to policyholders who had been cheated or discriminated against because of their race. It stepped up its support for the increasing efforts of African-Americans by posting bail for jailed students, and provided meeting space and printing and communications facilities to civil rights groups.
Citizens Trust Bank, founded in 1921, invested in the development of housing subdivisions throughout the west side of Atlanta, helping create neighborhoods that were among the most affluent residential areas for African-Americans in the country. It became one of the most important sources of capital for African-American homeowners, business owners and civic organizations in Altanta.
Atlanta Daily World (6089 Left)
It was the earliest and most widely circulated black newspapers. Founded in 1928, the paper became an important source of news regarding the African-American community-and an alternative political voice to mainstream newspapers regarding public issues.
It cover topics often ignored by other mainstream Atlanta publications, including lynching, police brutality, voter discrimination, and notable achievements of the African-American community.
Spelman College / Morehouse College
In Atlanta, the world’s largest consortium of African-American private institutions of higher education can be found which called as Atlanta University Center (AUC). This includes Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Clark College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College.
W.E.B DuBois from Atlanta University was a powerful writer and model of a socially engaged scholar. Morehouse President Benjamin Mays mentored students, spoke out against racism and provided leadership in civil rights organizations. Faculty members like Samuel Williams, Carl Holman, Howard Zinn and Staughton Lynn offered crucial guidance and support during American’s civil rights movement.
Brown V. Board of Education
After learning about the “Sweet Auburn” and its importance to African-American community, I got a chance to learn about Brown V. Board of Education. And the information that I learned was something profound.
The Brown V. Board of Education decision was the first national victory in the legal struggle for racial equality. And this resulted to the demise of legally segregated schools in 1954. Historically, before Brown case won, its been decades that NAACP Legal Defense Fund laying the ground work by filing lots of lawsuits that challenge the segregation in higher education.
The Brown case itself challenge the very core of the “separate but equal” principle established by the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision. But Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP Legal Fund’s director argued that the separation itself was inherently unequal with supporting arguments that resulted for a unanimous vote 9-0. Though the implementation of the decision took years to take effect but its a fight won to end of segregated education.
Aside from the information of Brown case, the exhibit also showcases historical facts displaying the theme of “Paving The Way Firsts and court cases Leading to Brown vs. Board of Education” where it listed all the first things where the Negro achieved their rights, acceptance and recognition in the society.
Showcasing the achievements of African-American in the society
In this part of the exhibits, I realized that changing the way people used to live is challenging because there are people who will oppose on the new customs specially if these people enjoyed and benefited more in that way of living. Like in slavery system, the people who hate to remove this system are the people whom receives much favor of it. This is where the color or racial discrimination in America exist because it was the after effect of abolishing slavery. Being elite in the society gave so much favors to the system as they are more advantageous on it while for the slaves its more detriment on them. One side of the people will go against the removal of the system and will do all their might because they are afraid to loose a lot of things they used to have and they used to experience, they don’t even want to think or dream that their life will change because of some movement or revolution. Even in the present time, equality in all things is something a wishful thinking in human race.
The next exhibits that I read on reveals how African-American tried to challenge the Jim Crow Law by going in to the places where establishments and public transportation has a clear sign of segregation.
Below are some of the stories that portrays challenging the segregation law to different institutions.
Montgomery Bus Boycott
There were two women tried to sit in white only seats on segregated bus. Though different results happened to Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin, what it emphasize was they tried to end the unjust traditions wherein the white seats at the front and the colored seats at the back and cannot be sit in by colored riders as long as there are whites whose going to sit in. This kind of segregation made me think that during the heights of Jim Crow law, I never really thought that kind of system had been worked for decades. I felt how cruel the people at the time.
The first black child to attend William Frantz Elementary School. Her story really made an impression to me whom white people were so strong to oppose the law even at the time that the desegregation in education has been decided. At her young age, as she used to in what kind of treatment they usually received, the story shown how brave she was. The white community, as they tried their might to oppose when Ruby was accepted in the school, both white students and parents boycotted the school.
The Integration of Central High (Little Rock Arkansas)
The story of the students that tried to integrate to Little Rock Central High School was the story that moves me in some ways. As the Governor Orval Faubus ordered to close the school’s entrance, even he agreed with President Dwight D. Eisenhower to allow colored student to enroll, but broke his word. At that moment, there was riot happened and the President sent the 101st Airborne Division (famous for its role in World War II D-Day Landings) to protect the nine students and enable them to attend the school. President Eisenhower inspired me of what he told that time that “We are nation, in which laws, not men are supreme”. The school close to prevent the integration but after a year it opened as integrated school.
Understanding this part of history in USA made me realized, how truly brave the African-American students to surpass such kind of agony just to go to school and to end the segregation that’s been happening for decades.
Because the voice of the African-American is slowly gaining its momentum, as the opposing side of white community, there was a suspicion that the Temple Bombing was because the Rabbi of the temple at that time supports the racial justice. When I read this, I thought that at the time, the opposing side of white community does not only hurt people physically just to show their angry of what is going on with desegregation, but they even can really kill people if necessary.
Sit-Ins (Woolworth’s Lunch Counter)
The story of Sit-Ins, is something similar that African-American started to break or end the segregation in a specific establishments. These involves four freshmen at North Carolina A & T University in Greensboro North Carolina, sat down at the “whites-only” lunch counter and ordered coffee. But the staff refused to served them and asked them to leave. The inspiring moment that I saw here was the perseverance of these students to be accepted and to exercise their rights to be treated as equal with the white. They repeated the sit-ins as the numbers followed their acts grew tremendously and other students in other cities followed their civil rights movements.
People who contributed or influence so that African-American can be heard and appreciated even at the times where community is still confused and still opposing to end the traditions are the following:
He was a longtime president of the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company, wielded enourmous power during his time. What I admired with him is he used his position and power to support racial moderation in the city. He was the one supported the dinner for Martin Luther King for his Nobel Peace Prize if not supported by local businessment, he threatened to move the Coca-Cola headquarters out of Atlanta.
William B. Hartsfield
He served as Atlanta’s Mayor from 1937 to 1962. And he developed the city at his time. As a politician, he was once segregationist but he adjusted as the block political power is arising at his time. He tried a very creative and save propaganda that benefited himself for making Atlanta as “the city too busy to hate”. He presided comparatively peaceful school integration compared to other Southern communities.
Ivan Allen Jr.
He served as Atlanta’s Mayor during 1962-1970. On his first day as mayor, he removed all “white” and “colored” signs in City Hall and helped desegregate the building’s cafeteria. From being pragmatic opposition to segregation, it became his personal conviction.
He was a journalist that became a voice for racial moderation in the South. He was once unwilling to criticize the segregation but but the US Supreme Court school desegregation decision, he told white Southerners to obey the law of the land and accept the civil rights changes.
The people who had influence or advocates to hear or appreciate African-American
Women’s Political Council (WPC)
Women has contributed a lot for the civil rights movement for African-American, if there were women bravely challenge the bus segregation even they faced to be arrested, punished and jailed, there are group of women who also helped to fight for their rights. One of them was the President of WPC named Jo Ann Robinson which helped to reform the segregation that no longer require that black surrender their seats to whites.
Another thing that inspired me while reading the texts or excerpts that accompanies the photos or displays in the museum was the portraits showing how well dressed the protester were. They want to fight for their rights not because of their appearance but to show their dignity within. The idea was to show the world that the African-American were the opposite of what the whites described them.
The protester in their modest look
A reconstruction of the Greyhound Bus that Freedom Riders rode in Anniston, Alabama in 1961 engages visitors with oral histories from the Riders, as well as a short film inside of the bus.
The exhibits displayed in this part of the museum opened my eyes what kind of persecutions that African-American or people who fights for their rights experienced during those time. It was a heart-breaking that while I was reading the stories of firebombed and mobbed buses that resulted of many people died and badly beaten. I was still contemplating what was kind of life before for these people to suffer. I was wondering why there were people denies the rights of others while they enjoys it for them. It was indeed truly the world was unfair and cruel.
For the campaign of Freedom Riders, there were lots of people sacrificed their life. But it was a worth fighting for. Most of the people joined this wave, accepted that they may loose their life but still they went through with it. These people risked their life to fight for the change and to fight for whats right for them.
The Freedom Riders (whom most of them died or suffered) fighting for their rights
After learning about the training involved in non-violent protest, guest are invited to participate in a lunch counter sit-in simulation and place themselves in the shoes of non-violent protestors in 1960.
This part of museum gave me a chance to experience through simulation how I would be able to feel if I was one of the non-violent protester in a lunch counter. All the painful words, I heard it in simulation and the crucial while listening was the beating part that I thought that I could feel that I was the one that people was beaten to death. My heart was pounding for each thrust that the listener received from people surrounded him. I felt I was a small person that everyone were persecuting me because of who I was, because of my race. I felt I was not a human being during the simulation. It was a deafening experience to realize how cruel to live at that time.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
One of the most iconic and joyful moments of the Civil Rights movement, the March on Washington uses multi-media to highlights the organization, organizers, speeches and songs of the day.
This part of the museum depicts what triggered the March to Washington and how the event was planned including its overall activities that I can say inspired humanity for what they bravely did.
People who had major contributions towards the March event
A. Philip Randolph
The Big Six
(Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, John Lewis, Whitney Young and Martin Luther King)
He was know to be defender of segregation but he was credited on many things happened for civil rights after he assumed presidency when John F Kenny was assassinated. History acknowledge the key roles that Johnson played to progress the civil rights cause.
All about the March event
The Three Hymns
This gallery focuses on some of the shocking acts of violence that followed the March on Washington: The murder of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptish Church in Birmingham Alabama, the murder of Civil Rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner and the murders of Jimmie Lee Jackson and Viola Liuzzo, with Jackson’s death serving as the catalyst to the march from Selma to Montgomery.
Four Little Girls
The violence did not end in buses. There were series of bombs happened after the March event in Washington which resulted the death of four little girls named Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair. One thing that surprised me was the guilty bombers were just convicted in 1977 and the rest were only in 2001 and 2002.
The death of the activist did not end in the bombing events, there were people also murdered by Ku Klux Khan (group for white supremacy). At first, the three people named as James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were missing and then were murdered. The event triggered wherein the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been signed by President Johnson.
More life has been sacrificed. Two persons died again. Jimmie Lee Jackson died few days later due to police brutality. While Viola Liuzzo murderd by KKK members. These events triggered to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and voting rights legislation.
Edmund Pettus Bridge
Because of what happened to Jimmie Lee Jackson, the March from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama happened. The protesters lead by Hosea Williams and John Lewis experienced beating and trampling from state police and troopers when they were blocked when trying to cross Edmund Pettus Bridge. Even the event condemned by media, the violence did not end, the second march happened which lead by Reverend James Reeb was beaten and died of his injuries. The third march became successful when Alabama courts finally ruled that the police had to protect and not to attack the protesters.
There is a part of the museum where I was emotionally affected as I read stuff I just felt that my tears were falling into my face. I just felt how cruel the life for the living that they have to suffer because of something that individual has no control to have such as your color or race as human was born. And then I read the passing of the leader of the movement – Martin Luther King Jr.
Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement
“Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement”, unlike the other exhibits, is non-linear in design. The exhibit includes a rogues gallery of dictators, like Adolf Hitler and Augusto Pinochet, and counters them with images of modern-day activists who work to improve conditions of women and LGBT individuals around the world. One activity, called “Who Like Me”, allows visitors to define themselves using a particular trait—such as their religion or gender—and shows them an individual who is persecuted in their homeland for that same trait.
Source : Wikipedia
Here are some of the photos captured in the museum.
Mass Murder on An Epic Scale (These Perpetrators of Heinous Crimes Escaped Justice)
Mapping Political Freedom and Economic Freedom
Here, I found where my country Philippines belong in terms of Political Freedom and its equality index between rich and poor, even where it is in poverty line.
Here are the human and civil rights that are emphasize in this part of the museum
And these thoughts or ideas are inspiring
Here are the people whom does not recognized human and civil rights
Here are the people considered as Current Dictators
With the Mass Murderer
And here are the people who are champion in fighting human and civil rights
Here are some of the prisoners of conscience
Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
“Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection” contains personal effects that belonged to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.The collection was obtained in 2006 when Dr. King’s estate decided to sell a number of his letters and papers at auction. Before the auction took place, however, Mayor Franklin launched a bid to purchase them for $32 million, with Morehouse College owning the collection and the Center having the rights to display it. The exhibit tells Dr. King’s story from his youth through to his assassination and its aftermath and includes such papers as drafts of “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “Drum Major Instinct”, a sermon King delivered not long before his death.
Source : Wikipedia
This was the last part of the museum that I visited. I don’t have much photos capture since it was not allowed to take photos here. The only thing I captured was the name of the room outside which was below.
In this part of the museum, all the personal letters made by King can be seen here. But I spent few minutes here since the museum was about to close for the day.
1. Plan to visit Center for Civil and Human Rights ? – Please check latest information here
2. Entrance Fee – Please check here for latest updates
Note: If you plan to visit other tourist spots in Altanta, I suggest to get Atlanta City Pass to get discounted prices. 3. Public Transportation Ticket – Use MARTA Breese Card, here’s the official website, here’s alternative site for the card
4. Directions to Center for Civil and Human Rights using train :
If you will ride within Red Line or Gold Line regardless which station you will come from, just remember to get-off at Peachtree Center Station.
If you will ride in any of Blue or Green Line, you are required to transfer at Five Points Station and take Red or Gold Line and get off at Peachtree Center Station.
At Peachtree Street, turn Right until you reach Baker Street NW and turn left towards Pemberton Place.
Discovery (Post#37) : Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Holds World Record
One of the things that worth to know while visiting the center was to discover that one of the most important document in the world is translated to most number of languages which is just right. One thing that I hope in the future, that the museum will tell the visitor that it is the most translated document for all languages so that every human lives will be able to understand its rights. The photo is part of Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
Chromatic Outlook (Post#44) : American Civil Rights Movement – Freedom Riders
One thing to learn about American Civil Rights Movement is how the African-American or negro tried to participate so the desegregation order become a realization as part of their fights for their rights in the society. The photos seen here are the people who even knew that they may suffer or die in the end, but still they chose to be part as Freedom Riders. I felt deeply saddened knowing how these people sacrifice even with their life just to scream to the world, they have rights too. The photo is part of Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
Structure (Post#16) : Center for Civil and Human Rights
Without knowing or seeing the name of the building, from a distance I admired this modern building that truly symbolizes how the city gives importance of the most important innate and universal rights of human race. These photos are part of Center for Civil and Human Rights Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
The design of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is driven by the concept of creating a Space for Action. The design is inspired by great urban spaces from around the world that are synonymous with historic civil and human rights events: the National Mall in Washington, Tiananmen Square in Beijing and Tahrir Square in Cairo.
By Architects of Center for Civil and Human Rights
Name Of The Place (Post#42) : Center for Civil and Human Rights
The name of this building conveys the one of the most important aspect of human race. And even at the present time, there are lots of people still struggle to fight for this right that should be innate to mankind. My visit to the center gave me a profound learning how the American Civil Rights evolve and how it won their rights to the society and to the world. For me, it is one of the best places to visit Atlanta. The photo is part of Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
Discovery (Post#36) : White Spotted Jelly (Phyllorhiza Punctata)
This jelly is said to be invasive as it disrupts ecosystems along the east and west coast of the US by eating the zooplankton that native jellies rely on. I enjoyed watching these jellies as it looks like they are in their natural habitat. These photos are part of Georgia Aquarium Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
Because of my limited time to spend in Georgia Aquarium, all I got of memories of the Cafe Aquaria were all photos of it. I never got a chance to have a break during my visit because I wanted to see as much as I can while exploring the once largest aquarium in the world. Therefore I have no idea what they offer and how much its cost. These photos are part of Georgia Aquarium Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
Visiting Georgia Aquarium and similar water parks for me is worth doing. If for other people see it as only for kids and young at heart, I do not agree on such belief. I am adult who still enjoys learning and the aquarium provides that kind of discovery.
Georgia Aquarium is former World’s Largest Aquarium in the World until 2012. A great reason to visit since it definitely offered a wide variety of aquatic species.
It has different Galleries and Exhibits that features diversity of aquatic life came from different parts of the world.
It features safe interactive activities involves selected aquatic species that can be both educational and entertaining.
Visitors can have a chance to get involve in their projects related to saving animals which struggles to be save in their natural habitat.
The aquarium helps to educate people and a medium to discover the life of different aquatic animals that they exhibit.
This post describes experience while visiting Georgia Aquarium last November 2015. What I saw at that time may probably different right now as the aquarium went to renovations and improvements for the past two years.
Since it was my last day in Atlanta as the next day was my return flight to my country, I felt like I have to see more as much as I can while I was still in the city. After an hour of leisure walk at Peachtree Street NE, I turned right at Baker Street towards Pemberton Place where Georgia Aquarium is located.
When I visited World of Coca-Cola, I bought Atlanta City Pass which is a bundle tickets for the most popular tourist places to see in Downtown Atlanta and that includes the aquarium, therefore I already have ticket for the Largest Aquarium in Western Hemisphere which is Georgia Aquarium.
Walking at Baker St NW towards Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium at Pemberton Place
It’s past 6:00 PM in Friday evening and I just have around two hours left before Georgia Aquarium will close that day and Friday is the only day in a week that it close late at 8PM, and because of that I was a bit lucky to still have time to sneak around the place.
Because I came two hours before it close, most of the shows inside the aquarium were over, so typically I haven’t seen any shows anymore and all I can do was see what was available for me at that time. But when I walked inside the aquarium I still felt amazed in the surroundings and overwhelm how huge it was.
I will described here the following things and marine species that I saw while wandering inside the former World’s Largest Aquarium.
While inside the Georgia Aquarium before I get inside of one of the gallery, the first thing to notice was the cafeteria. Cafe Aquaria is located almost at the center of the aquarium. So wherever you are, whether you are in the first or second level, the cafeteria is still visible.
The first area that I explored inside Georgia Aquarium was River Scout which according to my brochure it is a place where I will discover the wide diversity of animals found in the rivers and lakes of Africa, South America, Asia and the state of Georgia.
The species exhibited here are came from Amazon River – world’s second’s largest river. As per experience, I saw colourful fishes in this part of River Scout.
Lake Tanganyika and Lemon Cichlids
Fishes of New Guinea
Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish
Southeast Asian Fishes
Spotted Scat and Banded Archerfish
Banded Archer Fish
Green striped hermit carb
Yellow Belly Slider
Leaving River Scout
Dolphin Celebration (Dolphin Tales)
Just beside River Scout, there is escalator that goes to Dolphin Celebration area. Since no more shows available, I just took my chance to see the Dolphins at the lobby area where they were playing and swimming.
Common Bottlenose Dolphin
I saw Dolphins couple of times in different places that I had been with, but their charm towards me are still there. I still stop for a moment just to watch them after I took some photos of them.
Cold Water Quest
The area which just next to Dolphin Tales gallery is Cold Water Quest where the focus of the exhibits are species that lives in waters with cold temperatures and found all over the world.
Weedy Sea Dragons
Rock Fish and Sea Star
Giant Plumose Anemone and Japanese Spider Crab
Sea Star, Sea Urchins, and Sea Anemones
After enjoying the animals in Cold Water Quest, I went to Ocean Voyager where the former World’s Largest Aquarium until 2012 can be found. I do honestly enjoy such kind of aquarium that allows people to virtually walked underneath of it. It is said that this is the only Aquarium in North America to house whale sharks.
Giant Guitarfish and Giant Grouper
Giant Grouper and Golden Trevally
Giant Grouper, Zebra Shark and Doctorfish
Giant Grouper and Doctorfish
Giant Grouper and Zebra Shark
Giant Guitarfish and Smallmouth Grunt
Shanks and Rays
One thing that I really enjoyed here were watching some of the Jelly Fishes inside Tropical Diver gallery. Knowing that jelly fishes can sting people in the water but seeing such species on its sea like environment makes them look so beautiful. Below were some of my snapshots captured while exploring the gallery.
Tropical Diver gallery has a look of a biodiversity coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific which commonly called “rainforests of the ocean” which can allow divers to experience such similar environments.
White Spotted Jelly
Japanese Sea Nettle
Weedy Scorpionfish and Warty Frogfish
Striped Eel Catfish
Before I totally left the Georgia Aquarium, I still tried to explore other areas that I probably missed and I was correct. When I walked at second level I found Aquanaut Adventure area which in my impression was designed for young at heart (or kids).
This area allows visitors to touch three different kinds of rays but at the time of my visit, that opportunity is not available anymore as the aquarium nears its time for closing for the day.
Other things to see inside Georgia Aquarium
Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wondershow
Treasures of the Sea (Gift Shop and Exit)
I left Georgia Aquarium just few minutes after 8PM in the evening. Then, I walked back to my hotel via MARTA Train. And that time I hopped on the train at Peachtree Center Station, therefore, I walked a bit in Peachtree Street and took some photos in that part of Downtown before ending my last night in Atlanta.
Peachtree Center where I took MARTA train going back to my hotel near at the airport.
1. Plan to visit Georgia Aquarium ? – Please check latest information here 2. Entrance Fee – Please check here for latest updates
Note: If you plan to visit other tourist spots in Atlanta, I suggest to get Atlanta City Pass to get discounted prices. 3. Public Transportation Ticket – Use MARTA Breese Card, here’s the official website, here’s alternative site for the card
4. Directions to Georgia Aquarium using train :
If you will ride within Red Line or Gold Line regardless which station you will come from, just remember to get-off at Peachtree Center Station.
If you will ride in any of Blue or Green Line, you are required to transfer at Five Points Station and take Red or Gold Line and get off at Peachtree Center Station.
At Peachtree Street, turn Right until you reach Baker Street NW and turn left towards Pemberton Place.
Life Of Others (Post#12) : Japanese Sea Nettle (Chrysaora Pacifica)
This type of jelly which can appear in groups called “smacks”. And it has light-colored bell with dark orange lines. It has long tentacles which can be 10 feet long and cause skin irritation. These photos are part of Georgia Aquarium Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
In The Middle Of Somewhere (Post#12) : Ocean Voyager (Georgia Aquarium)
One of the things that I really appreciated in Georgia Aquarium and similar park in other countries is the chance to walk under the water without getting wet and to appreciate the life diversity in our seas, rivers and lakes. This walk can be found inside Ocean Voyager gallery. These photos are part of Georgia Aquarium Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
Colors (Post#10) : The Star, The Urchins and The Anemones of the Sea
One of the good things that Georgia Aquarium offers to its visitors is giving a chance to experience some of its species that they exhibit. One of this is a chance to touch some of the Sea Star, Sea Urchins, and Sea Anemones. I enjoyed watching people trying to touch these colourful species that we usually found under the sea water. I tried to touch Sea Stars but I was scared touching sea urchins and sea anemones. These photos are part of Georgia Aquarium Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
Visiting Georgia Aquarium was one of my last-minute adventures in Atlanta as this happened during my last night in the city. Even I only spent almost two hours before it close for the day, it was a worth visit because it reminds me again how the aquatic life on earth is diverse that I wished I will be given a chance to explore in the future. These photos are part of Georgia Aquarium Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
I just learned something about this quite unique specifies. It has chromatophores, a structures on its skin that allow it to change color to camouflage itself or to warn away predators. These species are not for consumption because of its flesh with unique toxin. These photos are part of Georgia Aquarium Visit Photo Collection November 2015.
Honestly I am eager in exploring USA. Though the first city that I had visited in the country was not famous as New York, Chicago or even Los Angeles, but I have this attitude to explore the place wherever I am whether its popular or not, I believe there is always something to learn or discover in every place and its my adventure to find it.
Since I was in Atlanta, I tried to see the city as much as I can even the first week’s weather of my stay in the metropolis was bad due to rain. My last Tuesday in Atlanta, I was lucky to reserve a ticket for one night show of Shaping Sound dance musical show. I have two goals when I booked the Broadway dance show, first was to see what’s inside the Fox Theatre in Atlanta which they call “The Fabulous Fox” and second was to enjoy my night with entertainment. When I booked the show, I was not familiar with the dance group performer until I learned about them recently and did not realized that they are the famous dancing group in America.
My preference in watching a Broadway like shows are more on musical or classical shows. At first I was hesitant to book the Shaping Sound show but after sometime of contemplating I finally decided to watch it. I signed up on Fox Theatre Atlanta website and bought the ticket online. On the day of the show, I came earlier on its schedule as I have to find where the theater is located. From my hotel accommodation near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, I took shuttle to reached MARTA Airport Station. I took metro train and got off at North Avenue Station then exited at 3rd St NE. I walked towards Peachtree St NE and turned right towards Fox Theatre.
At Peachtree St NE, walking towards Atlanta Fox Theatre
Atlanta Fox Theatre is a former movie palace which became a trend between 1925 to 1930. The structure said to be originally planned as part of large shrine temple. Then Fox Theatre chains developed it with 4665 seats and opened in 1929. The building has Middle Eastern and Egyptian designs and now listed as National Historic Landmark in USA.
When I saw the theatre, I felt excited. I remembered that I only saw the similar theatre in some movies, videos online and photos. Seeing one of its theatre with my own eyes felt like it was a dream. When I reached the entrance, I looked inside before I walked in. There was a vehicle being displayed within the entrance hall and then I saw some personnel in their suits that most likely in charge in checking the tickets.
Entrance and Lobby
Then I walked into the lobby and there are many people staying there for a while since the show hasn’t started yet, most of them were drinking and socializing. I saw the stairs in the middle and climbed on it towards the Mezzanine Level where you can still buy your drinks.
After passing Mezzanine, I took another stairs so I can go to the entrance for my seat which located at lower balcony. But before I go inside the balcony to find my seat, I spent time to appreciate some interesting Moorish interiors of the theatre.
Then, I went inside the balcony and looked for my seat. There were crew available that helped me to guide in my seat. I was glad that my seat was in lower balcony and I had a good spot to enjoy the show at the stage. I knew I can see everything where I sit.
My Right Side View of Balcony
My Right Side View of Balcony
Here’s some tidbits of information that I learned about Shaping Sound. They are dancing group company which led by Travis Wall and Nick Lazzarini. But do not make mistakes as they are not just regular dance group but a contemporary one that artistically choreograph their moves to give a masterpiece entertainment show. That’s how I watched them with their “The Shaping Sound Dance Reimagined Tour” theme in Atlanta while I was in the city in November 2015.
At Fox Theatre, I patiently wait in my seat until the whole balcony became full. And then the show started. Honestly, I never heard the name of dance group back home, I rarely watch reality TV shows specially if its dancing show, as I was not really interested on it, it’s the main reason why I hesitated to book the show at first. I didn’t really have that much expectation before the show. All I wanted was to have good time that night inside The Fabulous Fox.
The show begun and I watched attentively. And I found satisfaction and enjoyment while the whole group artistically move their bodies in tune. The show changed my perspective about dancing. I remembered the Swan Lake that Australian Ballet portray the story through ballet dancing when I was in Melbourne. Shaping Sound group shown their creative and contemporary dance choreography. With that reason, I really admired them and respected them in their craft even I am not a fan of them, I appreciated their act they did in Atlanta Fox Theatre.
Shaping Sound Company at the end of the show
Leaving Fox and the end of my adventure that night.
Both I truly enjoyed Fox Theatre and the dance group artist Shaping Sound. For me the place was perfect and the show was amazing. I had a great night that night. Until then.
In The Middle Of Somewhere (Post#11) : Fox Theatre Lobby
Before and after the show, people gathered at the lobby to socialize and had a bit of fun before watching the show and before leaving the Fabulous Fox. These photos are part of Shaping Sound event at Atlanta Fox Theatre Photo Collection November 2015.
Atlanta Fox Theatre is already part of history and its significance is being recognize not only in the city but in the whole country. The theatre has been planned for demolition before and due to circumstances it has been saved. Right now the 1920’s former movie palace is now self-sustaining as it generates income that can maintain its structure. The building design both exterior and interior shows its Moorish style. When I entered the theatre from entrance to balcony it significantly show the Middle Eastern and Egyptian style from it doors, windows, ceilings, walls and flooring. Even the lighting used and decorations significantly show its Arabic concept. And when I learned that it was originally planned and designed as new headquarters of Shriners in Atlanta (a national fraternal organization that is a subgroup of the Masons, is the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic), I understand why the theatre has the Moorish concept. But because of the cost it needed, the member of Shriners lease the building to movie tycoon William Fox and had a deal about having its 5000 seats. These photos are part of Shaping Sound event at Atlanta Fox Theatre Photo Collection November 2015.