History of Atlanta’s West End

The area known as West End began developing in 1830 and was at that time known as the village of White Hall (the name of a tavern in the area, which was painted white). By 1835, the current intersection of RDA (Ralph David Abernathy) Boulevard and Lee Street had become the center of White Hall. This crossroads is considered the oldest intersection in Atlanta. Thus began RDA Boulevardç—´ long history of being the commercial core of the area. Rail lines spurred massive development and Atlanta became a major transportation hub.

Starting in 1855, George Washington Adair, and other developers began to buy property in the area and subdivide it for development. In 1868, the name of White Hall was changed to the more “fashionable” West End (named after London’s theater district). At the same time West End was incorporated as an independent city. The development of West End became part of Atlanta’s post Civil War efforts to become the “New South” and to redefine itself. At this time, Blacks were still excluded from the town limits, as well as manufacturing facilities.
By the mid 1960s however, the once white suburb was becoming a majority black neighborhood as traditionally segregated institutions began to integrate.