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Observation Decks

Atlanta Airport 1969


December, 1969. Pilot's eye view of Atlanta Municipal Airport's newly completed main runway. AJC/Ken Patterson 

I'm obsessed with this old photo of "Atlanta Municipal Airport." Look at all the houses between the runways! I think that residential peninsula on the left is part of College Park. It's hard to recognize Atlanta before the interstates. Can anyone help explain what I'm looking at here?



You can see I-85 there... not the I-85 we know today, but that's it. It's the main road just north of the airport, with cloverleafs coming off of it. I think the sharp left turn at the top is where it meets up with I-75.

David Henderson

Great photo! This is looking north and I-85 runs diagonally across the top/left. The neighborhood between the runways on the left is now the site of the main terminals.


Thanks y'all! If that's I-85, then the road running parallel on the left must be Hwy 29, Main Street.

The old airport, though small, had a cool shape.

It makes me sad that all those neighborhoods are under the tarmac now...


Are you sure about the year?

David Henderson

This would've been December 1964 when the 2nd parallel runway in the foreground was opened.

David Kaufman

It is probably a month or two before December 1964. In this *great* photo, then-new Runway 9R-27L (which is now designated 9L-27R) is substantially complete, but it has numerous vehicles parked along its length, and there are no tire rubber marks yet. November 1964 is a very good estimate.

You can alos clearly see the "X" of the two former crosswind runways. 15-33 was just under 9000' long and was used by many jets. It closed in 1978. 3-21 was just under 7000' long and was the least essential. It closed in 1974, if my memory is correct.

David Henderson

Ah yes, I didn't notice those vehicles on the runway. Thanks!


wow, I never questioned the date. Sounds like you guys have it nailed. I found the photo and caption in the AJC archives, but surely it's an error. Time to do some more digging!

Perry Raines

The photo of the airport in 1969 shows my old neighborhood. The street closet to to the airport was Sheryl Lane. The one in the middle is Bell St. and the one on the top perimeter of the pix is Washington St.

Brings back old memories.


Perry– thanks so much for naming those streets. My grandparents rented a house on Bell Street in College Park before moving to Forest Park. I never thought of showing them this photo, but now I will. I would love to find more old photos of this neighborhood...

Perry Raines

David, November 1964 is correct. A few months after that all the houses were bought and razed to the ground. For years it was a great blue light parking spot.

Pat Turner

I too lived in that neighborhood in College Park. Perry Raines named some of the streets. I lived at 200 Lamar drive. There
was a McDanieland Inell streets that also ran off E.Washington.

I am in real estate and I went to the Clayton County courthouse and got my parents warranty deed of that property. It lay in the 7th district, land lot 13. Go to a new map and look up that district & land lot and you will be able to place it today. (between
the s. terminal & parking deck)

Go to Facebook " Maple Street Elementry School" page and there are pictures of old homes in the area and alsoold maps there that will put it together for you like a puzzle.

My dad worked for Delta and we moved in 1960 before the buyout. I lived there from '53-60.

Hope you will enjoy the FB page. THANK YOU so much for posting this picture.

Pat Turner

D R Lunsford

I was researching the crash of the Delta Convair 880 on a training flight from Atlanta Municipal Airport on May 23, 1960. Does anyone know the location of the accident site? Thanks in advance.

Don Griffin

The Delta 880 crashed in the area of what is now the area just north of Concourse B. In 1960, it was a grassy area to the left of then Rwy 26 (now 26L). Now, of course, it is paved over and used daily as several heavily used active taxiways.

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