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American Lives

Lost Atlanta: Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium (Georgia)

by Laurie Stevens, 25 September 2021

 

Skyline, empire city of the south, postcard, Atlanta, GA
Photo © The History Files Collection

This postcard view of Atlanta, GA, is positioned immediately south of the former Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The stadium no longer stands, but the Turner Field stadium has replaced it on a highly adjacent footprint.

The near view also includes the combined Interstate 75/85 to the left as it curves through Atlanta and then, veering off to the right, ramps leading to Interstate 20 which travels east-west (left-right) across this view.

The gold dome of the Georgia State Capitol building can be see just right of center, at the top of the highway which passes to the right of the stadium.

Atlanta's Center Parc Stadium, by Liubov Panasiuk / Liuba.drone
Photo © Liubov Panasiuk / Liuba Drone

Today’s (Ted) Turner Field or, more recently, the renamed Center Parc Stadium, is the current replacement for the original stadium, shown here and in the next two photos.

Construction of the focal point of the postcard above - the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium - was completed in 1965. It was one of the first cookie-cutter stadiums to be built (multipurpose stadiums built in concrete to a standardized design). It was designed to accommodate both American Football and baseball.

Unfortunately its construction, along with the earlier building of the surrounding highway infrastructure, decimated the local residential neighborhood. This was left with an over-abundance of parking lots and a history of flooding and sewer overspills. Flooding in Summerhill, which is the main stadium neighborhood, has been an ongoing issue which the city has only recently been working to remediate.

Atlanta's Center Parc Stadium, by Liubov Panasiuk / Liuba.drone
Photo © Liubov Panasiuk / Liuba Drone

The stadium was the home of the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball (MLB) Team, along with the Atlanta Falcons, the National Football League (NFL) team, and was constructed to lure these national franchises to the city.

Notable music events held at the stadium were The Beatles on their 1965 US tour, Led Zeppelin in 1973 (this would be their watershed tour), and Elton John on his 1973 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' Tour.

Atlanta's Center Parc Stadium, by Liubov Panasiuk / Liuba.drone
Photo © Liubov Panasiuk / Liuba Drone

On 8 April 1974 in front of a crowd of 53,775 people, Henry 'Hank' Aaron, nicknamed 'Hammerin’ Hank', hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's record which had been set in 1927. A monument is located in the area footprint of the stadium commemorating this notable event.

The stadium became obsolete as the sports teams found their own homes at other newly-constructed venues.

Fulton County Stadium being demolished, 1997
Photo unattributed

It was demolished in less than one minute in 1997 to make way for parking for the (Ted) Turner Field immediately to its south. The new stadium was the new home for the Braves, while also providing a venue in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games which were held in Atlanta. The footprint of the old stadium can still be seen in today's circular parking facility (see the second photo, above, for a glimpse of it).

In 2017, the Braves moved north-west to SunTrust Park. The old stadium was sold to Georgia State University to be repurposed for college football as the Georgia State Stadium. On 11 August 2020 the university entered into a naming rights agreement with the Atlanta Postal Credit Union to become the Center Parc Stadium to promote APCU's new consumer brand.

Traces of the old Ted Turner version of the stadium can still be found, aside from the already-mentioned parking area.

Additional information by Peter Kessler. Three photos on this page kindly contributed by Liubov Panasiuk / Liuba Drone, and one unattributed, via Reddit (see links). If you are the owner of this work please get in touch.

Main Sources

Ballparks of Baseball

S B Nation - How the Braves’ Turner Field transformed into Georgia State’s new football stadium

American Rivers

 

Images and text copyright © The History Files Collection, Liubov Panasiuk / Liuba Drone, & Laurie Stevens except where stated. An original feature for the History Files: American Lives.