Although a majority of events in the 1996 Olympic Games were hosted in or around Atlanta, Georgia, there were several other venues throughout the state. For example, Savannah, Georgia hosted the yachting events. This newspaper article from April 29, 1993 relates how local 8th-graders are worried about how visitors will view their home. How do these goals compliment the rest of the Atlanta changes and preparations?
“Concerned Students: Eight-grader Want Island to Look Good for Olympic Visitors.” Islands Closeup. Thursday, April 29, 1993. From the Georgia Historical Society Savannah Olympic Support Council Records. MS 1856-02-001.
The rendering of Centennial Olympic Park in this set was also featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The sketch shows the type of improvements the Olympic committee planners envisioned and executed in the lead up to the Olympics. Centennial Olympic Park remains an important green space for citizens and visitors of Atlanta. The sports venues built for the Olympic Games are now used by Atlanta’s professional sports teams and Atlanta’s business and tourism industry experienced a boom in the years following the 1996 Olympics.
It took more than six years for Georgia to prepare for the Olympic Games of 1996. These preparations significantly changed the landscape of the city of Atlanta. New buildings were built and old buildings were knocked down. New sports venues and public spaces were created and more hotels were built to accommodate the more than 2 million visitors who attended the games. Atlanta Attorney Billy Payne and Mayor Andrew Young led the winning bid for hosting the games and the preparations for hosting the games. Funding came from state and federal tax dollars, ticket sales, and corporate sponsorships. The image of demolition on a Techwood Homes building in 1993 comes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The image shows work on one of the major demolition and construction projects related to the 1996 Olympics. The low-income neighborhood surrounding the demolition pictured in this image was replaced by mixed-income apartments and dorms which housed Olympic athletes during the games. Techwood Homes was a public housing project. The area surrounding the housing project was plagued with crime
How do you think the town reacted? What would have caused negative reactions in Atlanta and what about the Games would have caused positive reactions? How did this kind of preparation for the 1996 Games change the city of Atlanta? Would this have been surprising to Atlanta residents?