5.5 out of 10

Sweet Auburn

Ranked 25th best neighborhood in Atlanta
33.7552090629029 -84.3764475536448
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Medical Facilities
  • Cost of Living
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Eating Out
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Clean & Green
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Sweet Atlanta History"

Located northeast of Atlanta, Sweet Auburn is bounded on the north by Freedom Parkway. To the east is the Boulevard, while MARTA's East-West line, Oakland and Grand Park neighborhoods are at the southern edge. Downtown Atlanta is located to the west.

Sweet Auburn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. There's an annual Springfest Festival and each March Dr. King's life and work is celebrated with a MLK March and African-American Renaissance Festival. In the summer Sweet Auburn hosts the National Black Arts Festival. For children there's a Youth Art Connection and all ages enjoy the True Colors Theatre Company.

The Sweet Auburn Curb Market is a popular and historic market with local vendors, plenty of fresh produce, seafood, rare meat products and the famous Sweet Auburn Bread Company.

During the first part of the 20th century Sweet Auburn was a thriving area of Atlanta where the African-American community was dominant and successful. A notable and historic district, Sweet Auburn is home to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and the Odd Fellows Building and Auditorium both included in the National Register of Historic Places. The Ebeneezer Baptist Church and many interesting sites are located nearby.
Pros
  • has nice activities to do in the summer
  • Rich history and culture
  • Sweet Auburn Curb Market
Cons
  • some areas are a little sketchy
  • Some crime
  • Some less desirable nooks and crannies
Recommended for
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Historic Atlanta neighborhood"

Sweet Auburn was perhaps the heart of “Old Atlanta.” When I say old Atlanta, I am referring to a period in history starting during the early 20th century and ending during the early 1960s. It was during this period, where the African American community in Atlanta thrived.

The neighborhood is located on the north east, near the center of downtown Atlanta.. Its borders are Boulevard to the east, Freedom parkway to the north, Interstate 85 to the west and Edgewood avenue to the south. I love this area of the city because it is rich in not only Atlanta history but also American history. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is located on John Wesley Dobbs Avenue. On Auburn avenue, you can visit Ebenezer Baptist Church, the place where the King family worshiped. This area is the location of the famed annual Sweet Auburn festival, a street festival that takes place during the spring season. I’ve visited the Sweet Auburn fest for many years and one cannot ignore the impoverished reality of many of the residents of this neighborhood. This area, like so many of its inner city counterpart experienced a sharp decline starting in the 1970 when many middle class residents relocated to other communities outside of Sweet Auburn. This past year I have seen much improvement to this area with new shops and restaurants. This gives me hope that one day this neighborhood will return to its state of glory.
Pros
  • has nice activities to do in the summer
Cons
  • some areas are a little sketchy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"It shall overcome"

A recent (virgin) visit to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, one of the area’s rightful institutions, had me literally exclaiming to all who would entertain my rantings – “Why have I not heard more about this? How have I not been here before?” I am still hell-bent on instituting at least a monthly excursion to shop and lunch among the Technicolor slopes of familiar and unfamiliar edibles and exchange grateful, uninhibited smiles with the international food vendors. As a neighborhood gathering place, the SWAC is pretty infallible in my opinion (I only took off a few points for the parking experience, which is validated if you stay for an hour or so, but can get pretty pricey if you – like me – can’t tear yourself away from Café Campesino, Grindhouse Killer Burgers or the general joy-cloud of colors, sounds and smells that pervades the indoor marketplace).

Besides the market, Sweet Auburn is known for its place in African-American history. Martin Luther King Jr. himself was born in the neighborhood (his house still stands) and local historical and cultural centers devoted to his legacy continue to attract visitors from all over the city and the nation each year. John Wesley Dobbs coined the name “Sweet Auburn,” after observing the “gold-paved” streets of what was instantly recognizable as one of America’s most successful early black communities. This was a place where enterprising men and women could and did build everything from barbershops and churches to banks and insurance firms – and, for the most part, it still is.

As with many historic areas, Sweet Auburn sustained a period of decline from which it is still emerging, meaning that many areas of the neighborhood give way to crumbling, graffitied shells studded with discarded furniture and populated by the poor and homeless. There are still plenty of safer havens, especially in and around recently completed redevelopment and revitalization projects like Renaissance Walk, and adjacent to Georgia State University and Old Fourth Ward.

Bottom line – as with many urban areas, there are places you feel you belong, and places where that feeling will be a long time coming. Head for the sweet spots. Cheers!
Pros
  • Rich history and culture
  • Sweet Auburn Curb Market
Cons
  • Some crime
  • Some less desirable nooks and crannies
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Go for the great marketplace off I-75"

There are two bright spots in the Sweet Auburn area of Atlanta: Grady Hospital and the Sweet Auburn Avenue market. Housing, well, not so much...

Grady Hospital is a high quality hospital and regional southwestern U.S trauma center in a blighted area of downtown Atlanta off of I-75/I-85. Because of this the area tends to attract a sad and lowly ‘lot’ of homeless and others in need; this makes it 'feel' like an unsafe area at night. Grady is great, though; both my husband and daughter were born there. I was taken there for emergency treatment some years ago and never regretted it.

However, if you are looking for a wonderfully fragrant and interesting place to visit, go to the Sweet Auburn Street Market. From the outside it does not look like much. Come to think of it it does not look like much insider either. But, don’t let the lack of visual aesthetic stop you from going. Because I promise you that as soon as you enter the market and smell the wonderful fragrances of fresh and smoked meats, fish, local produce, and homemade ice creams and smoothies and multi-cultural music and wares, you’ll be glad you came. It is a great place to take young kids for an ice cream cone, and lessons on good, healthy food! The prices are great too. And if you like to bargain, it is acceptable there.

Personally, I avoid the Auburn area at night, but during the day I am a big fan of this bustling marketplace.
Recommended for
  • Singles

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