The Carter Center Grounds
The Carter Center and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library are located on prime property that has been the scene for several historically significant events during Atlanta’s relatively brief history. This site which now encompasses two fishing lakes, a Japanese garden, unparalleled view of Atlanta’s skyline and 33 acres of greenery with unobtrusive circular buildings, is an oasis within the fast paced metropolis of Atlanta. This landscape did not evolve solely from the forces of nature but resulted from the vision, planning and work of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.
The property on which The Carter Center is built was once owned by Augustus F. Hurt during the nineteenth century, who abandoned the property with the coming Civil War. Like most of Atlanta, Hurt’s property and the surrounding areas were engulfed by federal forces of the Civil War during the summer of 1864. Atlanta was a target during the Civil War because, unlike most major cities of the time, it was not settled on a significant waterway but was created in a forest as a railroad depot in 1837.
In the 19th century, this area became a famous Atlanta neighborhood called Copenhill. The neighborhood was razed in the 1960s for freeway construction that never occurred. President Carter then acquired 33 acres of this prime property for the construction of The Carter Center. Prior to developing The Carter Center, Copenhill had fallen into disrepair. Revitalized and reclaimed through the efforts of a southern son, and raised like the symbol of Atlanta – a phoenix from the ashes – Copenhill is presently flourishing in the midst of thriving, present day communities of Poncey-Highland and Inman Park.