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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Atlanta’s Historic Pullman Yard

By Jack Rattenbury

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Atlanta’s Historic Pullman Yard

The historic site is undergoing an incredible transformation, and we’re about to get our first glimpse of the new “creative city”

Our ever-evolving city of Atlanta is about to have access to the new $100 million mixed-used project of the historic Pullman Yard in Kirkwood. Presently owned by Atomic Entertainment, the public’s introduction to the transformative development will be the immersive Van Gogh exhibition taking over Building 1. The site has lived through over a century of Atlantan history. So we’re going to break down some of the things you might not know about the significant site in Kirkwood, Atlanta.

1. The Origin Story

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In 1904, Pratt Engineering, a parts manufacturer for sugar and fertilizer processing plants, opens a plant on site, creating the first infrastructure for business. It stayed open until 1926, when the site was bought by the Pullman company, which is how the site now got its name.

2. Icon in ‘train’-ing!

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Pullman Company was a manufacturer of passenger railcars.  Pullman developed a train yard in order to manufacturer and repair deluxe passenger railcars. The site would continue this service until the 1980s, although there was a take-over by the Second American Iron and Metal Company in 1955.

3. Movie magic

Credit: Baby Driver IMDB

In 2017, Atomic Entertainment, a Film Production Company were awarded The Pratt Pullman Yard development in Atlanta, Georgia. The film production company have taken advantage of their new location in the Peach State by filming several movies at the Kirkwood site. The Hunger Games, Baby Driver, Divergent and HBO’s Brooklyn are just a few big names that’ve used the studio set-up at Pullman Yard. A-list talent has been on set, including Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Woody Harrelson, and Ryan Reynolds.

4. Black History

Credit: Pullman Museum

In the 1920s, the segregated South saw Pullman’s Atlanta shop manager beginning to recruit black workers from local porters and car cleaners. The company became one of the largest employers of black Americans in the United States, although there was a complex relationship between the company, those who ran it, and the African-American workers. Pullman travel was intimately linked with the civil rights movement throughout the 20th century, with several landmark Supreme Court cases that highlighted a need for change concerning racial segregation, and attitudes towards race & equality. For more information, check out the Pullman Museum.

Are you gogh-ing to the awesome, immersive Vincent Van Gogh experience coming to Pullman Yards?

5. Used for War

Credit: Unsplash

In World War I the land was used for munitions manufacturing. Ammunition in all forms were created on site.

6. Atlantan Heritage

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In 2017 the Atlanta Urban Design Commission nominated the historic site as a landmark site due to its historic significance.

7. Farming roots

Credit: Unsplash

Before the site was bought in 1904, Pullman Yard was used as farming land.

8. Modern Glow Up

Credit: Atomic Entertainment

As well as providing studio space to Hollywood, Atomic Entertainment have promised Atlanta a transformation beyond recognition. It’ll have state-of-the-art commercial and residential hotels, offices and apartment properties, expansive food courts, restaurants/bars, entertainment soundstages, and a cultural community with hiking trails and bike paths along the expansive property to showcase the beauty and historical significance of the space.

9. Clean Up

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In order for Atomic Entertainment to redevelop the site, a huge clean up had to take place. Starting in 2017, numerous investigations assessed the 12 on-site buildings for hazardous materials. Asbestos containing materials (ACM) were identified in various building materials, and more! Everything is ready for it’s debut this month. Are you ready, Atlanta?

See also: Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience opens at Pullman Yards this May!