Grant Park is the intown neighborhood surrounding the park, is one of Atlanta’s oldest and most important historic districts. It is bordered by the Cabbagetown neighborhood on the north, Ormewood Park on the east, Boulevard Heights on the southeast, Chosewood Park on the south, and Summerhill and Peoplestown on the west.
It includes the park, 48 acres or 35 hectares of Oakland Cemetery (established 1850), where Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones, 25 former mayors of Atlanta, six former governors of Georgia, and many Civil War dead are buried. It also includes the Atlanta Stockade; Fort Walker; and the 1858 mansion of Lemuel P. Grant, for whom the park and neighborhood were named. The mansion is the second-oldest house still standing on its original location in Atlanta. The Grant Park Neighborhood Association represents local residents.
Together with Inman Park, Grant Park contains the largest remaining area of Victorian architecture in Atlanta. Most buildings were built between the neighborhood’s founding in 1882 and the first decades of the 20th century. Large two-story mansions face the park, more modest two-story, modified Queen Anne houses were built on surrounding streets, and one-story Victorian era cottages and Craftsman bungalows were built to the east of the park.
Grant Park is a 131-acre green space and recreational area and is the fourth-largest park in the city, behind Chastain Park, Freedom Park, Piedmont Park, and Zoo Atlanta, established in 1889 and originally known as the Grant Park Zoo, is located in the park and attracts more than 1 million visitors annually.
Grant Park was established in 1883 when Lemuel P. Grant, a successful engineer and businessman, gave the city of Atlanta 100 acres in the newly developed “suburb” where he lived. In 1903, the Olmsted Brothers (sons of Frederick Law Olmsted) were hired to create a plan for the park. The original park included a lake, named Lake Abana, to handle storm-water runoff.
A failed circus gave birth to the eventual Zoo Atlanta when local lumber merchant George Gress purchased animals from the circus and donated them to the city in 1889. The city decided Grant Park was the best location for the zoo and carved space out for the attraction.