Urban Oasis Gets New Flor Carpet and Dining Room Chairs!

New Flor Carpet at the Urban Oasis Bed and Breakfast. Very excited to get our new Flor Carpeting at the Urban Oasis Bed and Breakfast. Soothing blues.

Chairs #midcenturymodern #ilovecolor
My new Eames Shell Chairs are now assembled! They look just like the photoshopped pic I did. I love it when what is in my mind is manifested so precisely. With this much color in my place, I have to be careful adding to it.

Old Fourth Ward Our Sister Neighborhood Across the Tracks

Old Fourth WardWyatt Williams wrote a really nice article chronicling the evolution of the the Historic Old Fourth Wards neighborhood from deserted drug land to  becoming revitalized as one of the best neighborhoods in Atlanta and certainly the coolest night spot in town. It is all about the role my friends, City Councilman, Kwanza Hall, Grant Henry, owner of Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living room and Ping Pong Emporium and early on Joe Stewardson, neighborhood pioneer had a vision of what could be and stuck with it.

The corner of Edgewood Avenue and Boulevard in Old Fourth Ward might be one of Atlanta’s most striking neighborhood changes in recent years. Today, residents from Sweet Auburn, Old Fourth Ward, and beyond convene on this corner for nighttime drinking, dancing, and a growing number of restaurants aside the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District. The New York Times has published glowing portraits of the neighborhood. Home prices are booming and a streetcar connecting the area to Downtown attractions and hotels will start operating this summer.  Read more.

I was also part of the revitalization with my effort to save the Historic Wigwam Apartments. I received an Atlanta Urban Design Award as well as the Ga. Trust for Historic Preservation Award in 2004 for keeping the Deco forties look and feel while converting this boarded up, crackhouse into condominiums.

Wigwam Apartments before,

Wigwam Apartments before restoration by Judi Knight.

Wigwam and two other buildings I created.

Wigwam after restoration along with two other buildings built by Judi Knight.

Indian on the Wigwam

Indian on the Wigwam Building, which is how the building got its name.

I also purchased the property next to the wigwam and restored a burned out duplex in the same footprint and style of the previous building. Later, on the empty lot between the Wigwam and the duplex, I designed and built the Wigwam Annex in the same style as the Wigwam, but with a more modern look. I created the three buildings as a condominium with 12 units. They share a parking lot behind the buildings and a courtyard area with a pond and a built in barbecue grill.

 

While I was doing those projects, a little boarded up neighborhood grocery located right across the street came on the market. I ended up buying it and making it into a sandwich shop with an apartment above. For the past seven or eight years it has been a neighborhood favorite called, Lotta Frutta.

Lotta Frutta before renovation

Lotta Frutta before renovation.

 

Lotta Frutta after renovation

Lotta Frutta after renovation.

For a while, that corner was a hub of building activity and since I owned property on both sides of the street, I felt like I was playing Monopoly and people needed to pass go and pay me $200. I was glad to do my part in helping with the revitalization of the Old Fourth Ward. There are plenty of people who buy properties and hold them waiting for the neighborhood to turn and property values to rise. But, if everyone does that then the neighborhood does not improve and no one wins. It takes people like Joe and like me who see a vision of what a place could be and start doing their part. Build it and they will come. And then people like Grant come in and make the place move and shake. Yay us. Yay Old Fourth Ward.

Party Hardy on Edgewood Avenue

catapault to greatnessBack in the day, Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward was well, rather edgy. Now it is the place to go out.

My friend, Grant Henry’s bar, Sister Loiusa’s “Church” of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium is the Soul of the street. Grant has his irreverent religious art everywhere. You could stay three weeks and still see something new. The Spiritual Sangria is divine unless you are in the mood for a PBR and some goldfish. It is a great place to go early and hang out with neighborhood friends and then the suburb hipsters and movie stars some on in later in the evening but the thing is you can’t move.

mizoWhen you get a little hungry and goldfish won’t take the edge off, you can go next door to the Corner Tavern for your regular bar food, or you can go down the street to have some napolotana wood fired pizza at Ammazza.Past Amazza at the end of Edgewood that is blocked off for the bridge repair, there is a create Japanese restaurant, Miso Izakaya

The Game Room can be a lot of fun but if you want to listen to music and do some dancing, you could try the Sound Table, located catercorner  to “Church”.

One of my favorite places on Edgewood is Noni’s an Italian Bar and Deli. It has a great vibe and good eats. After ten they have great DJs spinning tunes and some dancing going on.

Thumbs Up Edgewood Night SpotsStroll on down the street towards town to Pizza Versuvius great pizza. Stroll towards the bathroom and push the bookshelf to gain entrance to The Speakeasy for a cozy atmosphere and  excellent drinks.

If you stay out really late you can catch one of the best breakfasts at Thumbs Up. From Catfish to Waffles,  Thumbs Up has what you need. One of my favorites is called the heap. I like it with vegis, fried potatoes and you can get eggs and meat on it to. It is true comfort food.

130 Krog Street Before and After

People always want to know the history of the Urban Oasis. It was a cotton sorting warehouse built in 1950. The railroad tracks ran behind the building and there was a spur line coming down from the tracks for the trains to unload the cotton on the cement loading dock which now after dumping 40 truck loads full of soil as become our backyard and back deck. I bought the entire building in 1998 because I had a software company that needed a bigger space. I converted the front office into our company office and my family lived above the office for a year,  in an apartment that I renovated,  while I built out the back space  to be our home.

So, here are the before and after photos.

corner krog before

130 Krog Street Before in 1998

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top image 1998, bottom image 1999

130 Krog Front  2000

original parking lot
Original parking lot 1998

Before 130 A Interior

Before 130 A Interior

130 A in progress-400

130 A in progress-400

130 Krog After 2011
130 Krog After 2011

130 Krog After

Inside 130 A 2013

Inside 130 A 2013

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130 A Krog Stree Garden 2010 before Beltline