Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, USA
other_name =
native_name =
nickname = "Classic City"
"The Classic"
"The Lil' A"
settlement_type = Balance
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mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Clarke County and the state of Georgia

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Georgia
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Clarke
subdivision_type3 =
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area_magnitude = 1 E9
unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 306.2
area_land_km2 = 305.0
area_water_km2 = 1.2
area_total_sq_mi = 118.2
area_land_sq_mi = 117.8
area_water_sq_mi = 0.5
area_water_percent =
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population_as_of = 2006
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population_total = 175,085 (metro)
population_density_km2 = 328.8
population_density_sq_mi = 851.5
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timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 33 |latm = 57 |lats = 19 |latNS = N
longd = 83 |longm = 22 |longs = 59 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes =
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postal_code =
area_code = 706/762
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 13-03440GR|2
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Athens-Clarke County is a unified city-county in Georgia, U.S., in the northeastern part of the state, at the intersection of U.S. Highways 29, 78, 129, and 441, and near the eastern terminus of Georgia 316. The University of Georgia is located in this college town and is responsible for the initial creation of Athens and its subsequent growth. In 1991, after a vote the preceding year, the original city abandoned its charter in order to form a unified government with Clarke County, referred to collectively as Athens-Clarke County. [ [ Athens-Clarke County Unification History ] ] As of the 2000 census, the consolidated city-county (including all of Athens-Clarke County except Winterville and a part of Bogart) had a total population of 100,266. The metro area had a population of 175,085 as of 2005 Census estimates. Athens-Clarke County is the principal city of and is included in the Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. [ [ U.S. Whitehouse OMB Bulletin No. 05-02 Appendix (Code 12020*)] ]


In the late 18th century, a trading settlement on the banks of the Oconee River called Cedar Shoals stood where Athens is located today. On January 27, 1785, the Georgia General Assembly granted a charter by Abraham Baldwin for the University of Georgia as the first state-supported university. Sixteen years later, in 1801, a committee from the university's board of trustees selected a site for the university on a hill above Cedar Shoals in what was then Jackson County. On July 25, John Milledge, one of the trustees and later governor of Georgia, bought 633 acres (2.6 km²) from Daniel Easley and donated it to the university. Milledge named the surrounding area Athens after the city that was home to the academy of Plato and Aristotle in Greece.

The first buildings on the University of Georgia campus were made from logs. The town grew as lots adjacent to the college were sold to raise money for the additional construction of the school. By the time the first class graduated from the University in 1804, Athens consisted of three homes, three stores and a few other buildings facing Front Street, now known as Broad Street. Completed in 1806 and named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin College was the University of Georgia and the City of Athens' first permanent structure. This brick building is now called Old College.

Athens officially became a town in December 1806 with a government made up of a three-member commission. The university continued to grow, as did the town, with cotton mills fueling the industrial and commercial development. Athens became known as the "Manchester of the South" after the city in England known for its mills. In 1833 a group of Athens businessmen led by James Camak, tired of their wagons getting stuck in the mud, built Georgia's first railroad, the Georgia, connecting Athens to Augusta by 1841, and to Marthasville (now Atlanta) by 1845.

During the American Civil War, Athens became a significant supply center when the New Orleans armory was relocated to what is now the called the Chicopee building. Fortifications can still be found along parts of the North Oconee River between College and Oconee St. In addition, Athens played a small part in the ill-fated Stoneman Raid when a skirmish was fought on a site overlooking the Middle Oconee River near what is now the old Macon Highway. Like many southern towns, Athens still hosts a confederate memorial that is located on Broad St, near the University of Georgia Arch.

During Reconstruction, Athens continued to grow. The form of government changed to a mayor-council government with a new city charter on August 24, 1872 with Captain Henry Beusse as the first mayor of Athens. Henry Beusse was instrumental in the rapid growth of the city after the Civil War. After holding the position of mayor he worked in the railroad industry and helped to bring railroads to the region creating growth in many of the surrounding communities. Freed slaves moved to the city, many attracted by the new centers for education such as the Freedman's Bureau. This new population was served by three black newspapers - the Athens Blade, the Athens Clipper, and the Progressive Era.

In the 1880s as Athens became more densely populated city services and improvements were undertaken. The Athens Police Department was founded in 1881 and public schools opened in fall of 1886. Telephone service was introduced in 1882 by the Bell Telephone Company. Transportation improvements were also introduced with a street paving program beginning in 1885 and streetcars, pulled by mules, in 1888.

By its centennial in 1901, Athens was a much-changed city. A new city hall was completed in 1904. An African-American middle class and professional class had grown around the corner of Washington and Hull Streets, known as the "Hot Corner." The theater at the Morton Building hosted movies and performances by well-known black musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, and Duke Ellington. In 1907 aviation pioneer Ben Epps became Georgia's first pilot on a hill outside town that would become the Athens-Ben Epps Airport. Athens got its first tall building in 1908 with the seven-story Southern Mutual Insurance Company building.

During World War II, the U.S. Navy built new buildings and paved runways to serve as a training facility for naval pilots. In 1954, the U.S. Navy chose Athens as the site for the Navy Supply Corps school. The school was located in Normal Town in the buildings of the old Normal School. The school is now scheduled to be moved in 2011 under the Base Realignment and Closure process.

In 1961, Athens witnessed part of the civil rights movement when Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes became the first two black students to enter the University of Georgia. Three years later, Athens was witness to the murder of Lemuel Penn, who was followed out of town and murdered in Madison County near Colbert, Georgia. Despite the "Brown vs. Board of Education" Supreme Court ruling in 1954, the Athens - Clarke County school district remained segregated until 1970.

Geography and climate

Athens is located at coor dms|33|57|19|N|83|22|59|W|city (33.955464, -83.383245)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the balance has a total area of 118.2 square miles (306.2 km²), of which, 117.8 square miles (305.0 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (0.41%) is water.


* Downtown
* Five Points
* Chicopee-Dudley
* East Side
* Boulevard
* Newtown
* Normaltown
* Cobbham
* Beechwood
* Briarcliff



The Human Rights Festival, held annually, has brought in speakers and activists such as Jesse Jackson and David Dellinger.

The first Really Really Free Market was held April 28, 2007 as part of the May Day celebrations organized by Autonomous Athens. [ [ Athens' "Really Really Free Market"] ] It has since been held monthly in the spring, summer, and fall.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 100,266 people, 39,239 households, and 19,344 families residing in the city. The population density was 851.5 people per square mile (328.8/km²). There were 41,633 housing units at an average density of 353.6/sq mi (136.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.71% White, 27.37% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 3.15% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.11% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.39% of the population.

There were 39,239 households out of which 22.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.3% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.7% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.8% under the age of 18, 31.6% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 15.3% from 45 to 64, and 8.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,118, and the median income for a family was $41,407. Males had a median income of $30,359 versus $23,039 for females. The per capita income for the balance was $17,103. About 15.0% of families and 28.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 13.5% of those age 65 or over.


Athens has a significant investment in culture, common in many college towns, that coexists with the university students in creating an art scene, music scene and intellectual environment. The city is home to numerous eclectic music venues, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that cater to its creative climate.

The town is home to such notable features as the only remaining one of two double barrelled cannons produced during the American Civil War, the famous "Tree That Owns Itself"-which now is an offspring of the original tree, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, and the University of Georgia Campus Arboretum. Athens is also home to The Globe, a well-known bar voted by "Esquire" magazine as the third top bar in America in 2007. [ [ Best Bars - Esquire ] ] Athens was home to Network Translations, Inc., which produced the PIX firewall which was later purchased by Cisco Systems.

Athens also has a vibrant literary scene. The city is home to independent publisher Hill Street Press and well-known authors with previous or current residence in the city include Pulitzer Prize winners Deborah Blum and Edward Larson, as well as Judith Ortiz Cofer, Reginald McKnight and Coleman Barks.

Every spring Athens plays host to a number of bicycle races collectively known as the Twilight Series. The most popular of these is the Twilight Criterium. In addition to its yearly weekend of bike events, Athens has an active bicycle culture, easily observed the last Friday of each month at Courteous Mass (sponsored by BikeAthens) and Critical Mass (an independent gathering).


The Athens music scene grew in the early 1970s with Ravenstone, a regionally popular band sometimes called "one of the godfathers of Athens rock," along with the Normaltown Flyers at Allen's and later during the 1980s with the Uptown Lounge, Georgia Theatre, and 40 Watt Club as the bands R.E.M. and the B-52's scored breakout hits. The original Allen's is the oldest bar in Athens and was shut down in 2003. Allen's re-opened in 2007 at a new location with new owners but the same original recipes and commitment to live music. Other bands that have made their mark include Perpetual Groove, Mercyland, Dreams So Real, Indigo Girls, Matthew Sweet, The Method Actors, Love Tractor, Pylon, Flat Duo Jets, The Primates, Modern Skirts, and Widespread Panic.

Other national acts that have come out of Athens include: Danger Mouse, alternative duo Jucifer, Vic Chesnutt, Drive-By Truckers, Elf Power, Azure Ray, The Fountains, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control, Of Montreal, Five Eight, King of Prussia, Michelle Hutchings Jet by Day, and R.E.M. members Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Bill Berry still maintain residences in Athens.

Every Summer the city has hosted Athfest, a non-profit music and arts festival held in the downtown area.Fact|date=October 2008


Public schools

Public schools are run by the Clarke County School District.

* Elementary schools
** Alps Road Elementary School
** Barnett Shoals Elementary School
** Barrow Elementary School
** Chase Street Elementary School
** Cleveland Road Elementary School
** Fowler Drive Elementary School
** Gaines Elementary School
** Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School
** Howard B. Stroud Elementary School
** Timothy Road Elementary School
** Whit Davis Elementary School
** Whitehead Road Elementary School
** Winterville Elementary School

* Middle schools
** Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School
** Clarke Middle School
** W.R. Coile Middle School
** Hilsman Middle School
** Clarke County Alternative Education Program

* High schools
** Cedar Shoals High School
** Clarke Central High School
** Classic City High School: A Performance Learning Center
** Clarke County Alternative Education Program

Private schools

* Athens Christian School (grades K-12)
* Athens Montessori (grades K-8)
* Saint Joseph's Catholic School (grades K-8)
* Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School (grades 9-12)

Colleges and universities

* The University of Georgia (UGA) is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning. Founded in 1785, it was the first state-chartered university in the United States.

* Athens Technical College is a TCSG public college in Athens, Georgia. It was founded in 1958 as Athens Area Vocational-Technical School, was renamed Athens Area Technical Institute in 1987, and took its current name in 2000. It offers certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees in business, health, technical, and manufacturing-related fields.

* Piedmont College is a private liberal arts institution founded in 1897 to serve residents of the Appalachian area of northeast Georgia, USA. When the college was first founded, it was established as the J.S. Green Collegiate Institute named after a local banker. In 1899, the name was shortened to the J.S. Green College. By 1902, the college was formally renamed Piedmont College

* Georgia Institute of Cosmetology

* Truett-McConnell College

Sister cities

* Athens, Greece
* Cortona, Italy

Notable residents and natives

* The B-52's - Rock Band
* Buffie the Body - Model
* Dunta Robinson - NFL Football Player
* Bubba Sparxxx - Rapper
* Willie Green - Former NFL Football Player
* R.E.M. - Rock Band
* Kim Basinger - American Film Actress
* Eve Carson - Murdered Student Body President of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
* John Kasay - Carolina Panthers kicker
* Chuck Smith - former NFL defensive end
* Fran Tarkenton - Hall of Fame Quarterback
* Forrest Griffin - UFC Fighter
* Brian McCann - MLB Baseball Player. Born in Athens [ [] ]


External links

* [ Athens-Clarke city/county government official site]
* [ Athens convention and visitors bureau]
* [ All About Athens GA - a hyper local blog]
* [ University of Georgia]
* [ OnlineAthens]
* [ Athens profile] , Georgia Encyclopedia
* [ Georgia Music Hall of Fame]
* [ AthFest - music and art festival]
* [ Athens-Clarke County public library]

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