Castleberry Hill, named after a topographic rise that peaked along Walker Street on land owned by an early Atlanta settler, Daniel Castleberry, is an eclectic warehouse district southwest of downtown that stretches along the Southern Railroad tracks.
In recent years, most of its existing buildings have been converted to residential and retail – predominantly gallery – uses, and new industrial-style mixed-use buildings have gone up. Castleberry Hill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is an Atlanta Landmark District.
Before it became known as Castleberry Hill, the area was best known as Atlanta’s red-light district in the 1840s and early 1850s, and was known informally as Snake Nation, because of its numerous snake-oil salesmen.
After the Civil War, Castleberry Hill supported much of Atlanta’s growth as the city grew into a regional rail distribution center. Because of its location along the tracks, railroad-related businesses were developed in the district along with supporting services that included carpenters, saloon keepers, weavers, butchers, blacksmiths, and cabinet makers.
The main architectural style of the area is characterized by dense brick commercial structures, flat facades, and industrial sash and doors, ranging from one to three stories. These buildings have Victorian and early 20th century commercial style influences and can be found today along Peters Street. Other significant architectural features include an 1890s freight depot, a concrete viaduct, and a wooden trestle bridge, which was likely the first in the city and later replaced by an iron bridge.
Between 1950 and 1980, intense commercial and residential growth in the suburbs impacted Castleberry Hill, with buildings being abandoned and residents moving to more vibrant locations. However, since the early 1990s, urban pioneers and developers have transformed the neighborhood’s industrial buildings into loft-style living. Today, nearly 900 people inhabit this once-vacant business district. Castleberry Hill has a strong neighborhood association. A monthly Art Stroll, supported by local galleries and restaurants, is a popular street-oriented event. Visit the Castleberry Hill Neighborhood Association website here.