Police watching hippies in Midtown, Atlanta, Georgia, July 1969.  The block on the left is where the Federal Reserve currently sits.
"Patrol car cruises Atlanta’s hippie community near 10th and 14th Streets.  Residents there say outside provocation creating ‘great tension.’"
(AJC)

Police watching hippies in Midtown, Atlanta, Georgia, July 1969.  The block on the left is where the Federal Reserve currently sits.

"Patrol car cruises Atlanta’s hippie community near 10th and 14th Streets.  Residents there say outside provocation creating ‘great tension.’"

(AJC)

Great article in the Bird about the clash of Atlanta’s business community and its other residents. 1972
So far the business community in Atlanta has pretty much gotten what it wanted in the city; the Civic Center, MARTA, the new sports coliseum, property rezoned for commercial use, containment of the black community, etc.  There are still rough places though.

One such area is the Strip.  First, the “hippies” were allowed, some even claim, encouraged, to flourish in the area so that the property values would go down.  Which is what happened.  That opened the way for real estate and other buyers to come in and make some fast money.  Sort of using the hippies for block busting.
The city cooperated with the buyers by sending some of their 23 building inspectors around to check out the housing. (Some friends of mine who lived on 14th Street for at least 10 years had not, up ‘til then, been visited by any city inspectors.) So the property fell into the hands of whomever was there with the money.
As we all know, since plans for Colony Square were first made public, law enforcement on the Strip has been a big concern for the city.  After all, with drugs, longhair, rock-n-roll, and outright Communism down the street, how could business folk expect to operate a big office building complex like Colony Square?
The owner, James Cushman, admits that renting and leasing those offices has been a problem.  He claims that it is due to the economic conditions in the country.  People at City Hall who should know have a different view.  They say that Mayor Sam Massell and Cushman made a deal.  If the Strip were cleaned up (Piedmont Park was included in the deal), then Cushman would continue with his plans for the colonization of the area. 
So the undesirables had to go.  Lots of people sold the Bird for survival, so they were hassled and so was anybody else who hung around the area.  Also all the places where they hung out.  Like the Aurora, the crisis center, Gee Bees, Chili Dog Charlie’s, the Stein Club, and especially the street.  
That happened and still happens daily, but mostly at night now, ‘cause that’s when Lt. E. A. Samples. one of the worst cops, is on duty.  (I asked Supt. Royal down at the police station about Samples and he said he had no idea that people were getting hassled.) On the other hand, Samples’ direct superior, Capt. Riley, knew of some complaints but claimed that there was no discriminatory enforcement on the Strip and that Samples and his men were just doing their job.)
We’re used to getting hassled about the Bird and we’re used to our sellers getting hassled.  But we thought that was past history around this city.  We were wrong.  Since we began researching the slumlords in Atlanta we have been having lots more hassles on sellers.
As on regular Birdseller told me, “Whener you write anything about the mayor of the city, we get hassled on the street ten times worse.”  Again, City Hall sources told us that the business community is real uptight about those slumlord articles we’ve been printing, and certain businessmen would probably be happy if they never saw another story on the subject.  Mainly, we’ve been exposing the many business interests in the city, the city being the main one for whom slumlording is the lucrative part of their business.  
Mayor Sam Massell seems to be extra sensitive about his public image in the press.  He does not like criticism, either of himself or his administration.  Well, he gets both from the Bird.  Enough so that he mentions it to our staff members and stops all press releases coming to us from his office.
Also involved in Massell’s attitude toward the Bird is the fact that he and his in-laws, the Selig Company, own or manage at least half the buildings on the Strip.  We believe that is another reason that people who sell the Bird are receiving tickets for “violating pedestrian duties,” “obstructing traffic,” “creating a turmoil,” etc.  And on judge, who fined a seller for such an offense, said, “That’s why they’re (the police) down there-to keep you people off the street.”
All we can do for now is to help people who do receive tickets by providing money and lawyers.  Please let us know if you get a ticket.
-Linda

Great article in the Bird about the clash of Atlanta’s business community and its other residents. 1972

So far the business community in Atlanta has pretty much gotten what it wanted in the city; the Civic Center, MARTA, the new sports coliseum, property rezoned for commercial use, containment of the black community, etc.  There are still rough places though.

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Selling the Bird at 10th and Peachtree Streets in 1970.  Midtown Atlanta.
(via Georgia State University Library Digital Collections : Item Viewer)

Selling the Bird at 10th and Peachtree Streets in 1970.  Midtown Atlanta.

(via Georgia State University Library Digital Collections : Item Viewer)

The Peachtree Strip, ca. 1970. Midtown Atlanta

The Peachtree Strip, ca. 1970. Midtown Atlanta

(Source: )

"Bohemia central: Pershing Point Hotel gave gays, others a place to fully express themselves" (2006)

As Leslie Jordan’s mama pulled up to the Pershing Point Hotel in 1974 to see her teenage son’s new Atlanta home, she had a visitor’s common reaction.

A devout Southern Baptist “with the perfect flip hairdo,” his mother took one look at the dilapidated structure and the odd assortment of characters loitering out front, promptly locked her doors and gunned the engine.

"My mother would not get out of the car," the diminutive actor, now 51, recalls, laughing.

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1969 - The Peachtree Strip looking north near 11th Street. Colony Square can be seen in the background; the building with the Firestone sign eventually became Club Vision.
(via Atlanta History Center Album. People)

1969 - The Peachtree Strip looking north near 11th Street. Colony Square can be seen in the background; the building with the Firestone sign eventually became Club Vision.

(via Atlanta History Center Album. People)

Looking back, perhaps 1969 was the high point of Atlanta’s freak community. Maybe not. Probably for most the high point always seemed to be just around the corner before it finally vanished altogether.

 

Anyway lots happened in 1969. In the Spring, large numbers of freaks came to Atlanta from across the South and the nation. The 1st Atlanta Pop Festival was staged in mid-summer and later in the year the first Allman Brothers album was released. A freak presence was firmly established in Piedmont Park, although early in the fall the police tried to re-establish control in the famous “Park police riot.” That particular police freak-out turned a lot of love children into street freaks and gave the City of Atlanta a considerable amount of bad national PR…

Phyllis Killer performed drag shows at Club Centaur, which was at Peachtree and 11th ca. 1970.

Phyllis Killer performed drag shows at Club Centaur, which was at Peachtree and 11th ca. 1970.

(Source: )

People are putting the paper to bed Tuesday night when that old familiar call comes: “Pigs are busting people on 11th Street.” So our crack riot-trained team of reporters and photogs converge on the scene, to find: a big red fire truck, brandishing its fire hoses at a still (slightly) smoldering can of garbage; a Journal/Constitution, paper-box (Right On!) blocking the Peachtree entrance onto 11th; a small scattering of freaks (“Community People” we call them) hustling and bustling about in customary gaiety, exclaiming on the near riot; and the familiar voice of Harky (The Rev. Klinefelter)’first far away, then nearing and finally turning the corner of Peachtree onto llth.