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Things to do in College Park

    Jimmy Carter Library and Museum Jimmy Carter Library and Museum Atlanta, Georgia
    The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia contains the President's papers and other materials that pertain to the Carter administration and the Carter family's life. The library contains many marvelous special exhibits, like his Nobel Peace Prize and a full-scale copy of the Oval Office that also has a beautiful replica of the Resolute Desk. The complex has some areas that are owned and administered by the federal government, as well as some that are privately owned and managed, while the library and museum are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration and have become part of the Presidential Library system of the US government. Those areas that are private include the Carter's offices and those of the Carter Center, a nonprofit human rights agency. The entire complex was constructed in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood of the city, on land that had been acquired by the state's DOT for an interchange between two redundant roads that was eventually cancelled by Carter when he became the governor of the state. The complex was begun on October 2, 1984, and opened on Jimmy's birthday, October 1, 1986. The remaining land that wasn't used for the complex has now become a parkway and linear city park called Freedom Parkway that had been named the "Presidential Parkway" during its planning phase, and almost ended up as the Jimmy Carter Parkway. The structure that contains the museum and library take up 69,750 square feet with another 15,269 square feet set aside for exhibits and displays, with another 19,818 square feet of storage and archive spaces. The library contains 27 million pages of documents; 40,000 objects and half a million photographs as well as audiotapes, videos and films. This magnificent collection encompasses all of Carter's administration, from his domestic and foreign policies to the personal lives of Jimmy and Mrs. Carter. A massive $10 million restoration began in April 2009 with the hopeful completion date of Jimmy's 85th birthday, in October, 2009.  How strange it is that Carter was and still is in many circles considered one of the most inept Presidents of our nation's great history, but then again, those same sources have touted the marvelous contributions made by Ronnie Reagan, when the accolades should be reversed. Jimmy was a soft spoken man, who should have carried a big stick, but then, he was one of those individuals that believed he nor we need a big stick to make our opinion count. He tried to do many things in this country that would have helped us in this disastrous time, but he had to fight against a Congress that wanted no part of him nor his politics. He will be remembered some day as one of our best presidents, who supported the people, their unalienable rights and the tight handed reins that should be used to guide the Congress and this country. He certainly would make a great President now if he chose to run, but at his age, and most likely his intentions were not be in that course. Needless to say, when Carter left the office, he took some of the best ideas, morals and help with him.  Jimmy had his faith to help him, guide him, lead him in the right direction, but the American people have always preferred the other side of that coin, and even today, is leaning further away from God than it ever has. Carter would have kept God in the government, where He should be, and where our forefathers wanted Him to be and if there aren't significant changes made in the next decade, then we all will face a disastrous Armageddon.

    APEX Museum
    APEX Museum Atlanta, GeorgiaThe APEX Museum in Atlanta, Georgia is the city's only museum created to celebrate the marvelous and untold history of African Americans. In 1978, Daniel Moore, a well known filmmaker and visionary went to a banquet honoring Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, and as Dan watched the long overdue honor to Dr. Mays's outstanding accomplishments, he became inspired to create an African American museum that would celebrate the many wonderful achievements that unsung heroes like Dr. Mays had done. Sometime later, Dan started working on the creation of that inspiration that would grow into the magnificent facility that the Apex has become today. APEX is an acronym for African American Panoramic Experience, and the title is so apropos since it embodies the mission of the museum, which is to interpret and present the history of these overdue heroes in the eyes of an African American and from his perspective, so that all Americans and international visitors could gain a better understanding and appreciation of the contributions that African Americans have made to this country. The museum is also able to give visitors a complete view in all the directions of African American, hence the part of the name that pertains to panoramic. During its 28 year history, there have been hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the nation and around the world that have come here to learn and enjoy the APEX experience. There have been many school children from the city, along with visitors from over forty countries that have come here to tour the facility and look over the exhibits that celebrate the entire history of African Americans. Well known and famous people have come here to enjoy the museum and these include; Cecily Tyson, Gladys Knight, Halle Berry and historian John Hope Franklin, and these folks left with an inspiring experience from the museum and its exhibits that will stay with them forever. The museum has hosted many outstanding exhibits since it opened, including the Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration from 1925-1949, to its most recent exhibits about black inventors and art displays that have highlighted well known professional artists that had or do have ties to historically black universities and colleges. The facility has always recognized the contributions of people by hosting receptions in their honor, like Michael Thurmond, Thurbert Baker and Julian Bond, and tributes to outstanding patriots like Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.

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    Georgia State CapitolGeorgia State Capitol Atlanta, Georgia
    The Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia has been considered an architectural and historically important structure, since being constructed in 1889, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as being a National Historic Landmark. It has continued to be the working center of the state's government since opening and houses the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, and secretary of state, that are located on the second floor, while the General Assembly occupies the third; along with a museum and visitors' gallery. The capitol had previously been located in the first Atlanta City Hall and since Atlanta had become a fast growing city and industrial center during the late 19th century, the city donated the site to the state so that it would move from Milledgeville to the city. The initial capitol had been located in Louisville and is no longer standing, although Augusta and Savannah before it never had special capitol buildings. The state legislature would meet in various cities before it moved its capitol, that included Macon, particularly during and after the Atlanta campaign in the Civil War.  Just as many US state capitols, the Georgia state capitol was designed to look like the classical architectural style of the nation's capitol in Washington, DC., and when it was finished in 1889, the structure was designed by Franklin P. Burnham and Willoughby J. Edbrooke of Chicago, Illinois, built by Miles and Home of Toledo, Ohio and sculpture done by George Crouch. The commission that oversaw the plans and construction had included the former Confederate general, Philip Cook. The front faces Washington Street, and the facade showcases a four story portico, with stone impediment that has been supported by six Corinthian columns sitting on huge stone piers. The state's coat of arms, with two figures on each side, is engraved on the pediment, while the interior is a definite reflection of the Victorian style of the period. The structure had the earliest elevators, central steam heat and combination gas and electric lighting, with classical pilasters and oak paneling throughout; and the floors covered with marble from Pickens County that is still producing marble products today.  The museum that is located in the capitol building, began in 1889, and is filled with marvelous relics, documents, flags and other memorabilia of the state's and city's history. There are also Native American relics, rocks, fossils, minerals and animals that are housed in the Office of the Secretary of State, with portraits of governors, historic flags from the numerous wars and statues of famous Georgians that fill the historical structure itself. It is the finest overall museum in the state, reminding visitors as well as informing them of the marvelous and exciting history the state has enjoyed. The state's second capitol building in Milledgeville had served as the state's capitol until 1867, and although it had been very damaged in a fire in 1941, the structure was rebuilt and is now part of the Georgia Military College, with it's first floor opened as a museum. 

    Fort McPherson
    Fort McPherson East Point, Georgia
    Fort McPherson in East Point, Georgia is an army installation sitting on the southwest part of the city of Atlanta, and headquarters of the US Army Installation Management Command, Southeast Region, the US Army Central Command, the US Army Forces Command, The US Army Reserve Command and other army units. The fort was named after Major General James Birdseye McPherson, and opened in 1885, although the site had been used by the military since 1835, as well as being used as a Confederate army base in the Civil War. In the Reconstruction era, it was called the McPherson Barracks and became the base for federal troops that were occupying Atlanta. Once that era ended, the barracks were sold in 1881, although it was used by troops stationed in Florida, but only in the summers. The property was bought by the US Army in 1885, and used to quarter ten army companies. In WWI, the base would be used by the army to house the Imperial German Navy POWs, and in the textile strike of 1934, it was used as a detention center for those picketers that were arrested as they struck against a Newman, Georgia cotton mill. As part of the 2005 BRAC commission recommendations, the base is scheduled to close in 2011, and the units located there will be transferred to other bases across the nation; which is sure to impact the region economically during the worst recession since the 1930s and the worst possible time to do it. The fort occupies 487 acres and is just four miles southwest of Atlanta, and quite rich in military traditions that date back to 1867. In the Spanish-American War, the fort became a general hospital and recruit training center for almost 20,000 soldiers, with the barracks becoming overfull and forcing emergency tents to be set up. It would house the POWs from that war as well, and by the end of July 1898, the army had just 16 Spanish army prisoners in what is now the Post Chapel. It has certainly seen its share of duty to God and country and even though it is closing, it is still a historical site and should become a wonderful old fort to visit and learn about the exciting and interesting events that transpired here.

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Local Restaurants in College Park

    The Pecan
    Entrees; oven roasted buttermilk pecan chicken is boneless breast marinated & served with sweet potato puree, sautéed haricot verts & pesto sauce; pepper crusted New Zealand lamb chops lightly dusted, seared, broiled & finished with balsamic reduction with garlic mashed potatoes & sautéed vericot verts; ribeye is 16oz. aged rib eye grilled on high heat using pecan wood with balsamic & port wine reduction; with sautéed Vidalia onions & mushrooms; portabella Napoleon is roasted garlic mashed potatoes with curry sauce over asparagus, seared tofu & sautéed haricot verts with balsamic vinaigrette glaze; crusted pan seared loin chop with special blend of spices, garlic mashed, haricot verts & chiffonade of red cabbage with sweet & spicy orange tomato glaze & garnished with potato wedge; surf & turf is 16oz. rib eye grilled on high heat using pecan wood with balsamic & port with Vidalia sautéed onions & mushrooms, with wine reduction sauce & deep fried lobster tail lightly dusted in tempura style batter, with lemon-dill aioli garlic mashed potatoes & sautéed varicot verts; Atlantic fried lobster tails lightly dusted in tempura style batter, deep-fried, with lemon-dill aioli served with mashed potatoes & sautéed haricot verts; blackened fish of the day prepared with house special blackening spices & Cajun crème sauce with sweet potatoes & asparagus spears; fried catfish served over pepper jack grits & lemon-dill aioli sauce with Italian collard greens; Tybee Island crab cakes is two sautéed lump crab cakes served with spicy Creole aioli served with garlic mashed potatoes & sautéed haricot vets; blackened shrimp served over Cajun angel hair pasta or pepper jack grits; salmon croquette served over pepper jack grits with dill hollandaise sauce.

    The Feed Store Restaurant
    Appetizers; fried calamari with pepper vinegar, crystallized ginger, Allison's cotton honey; Yvonne's chicken wings with sweet potato waffle, sorghum syrup; sweet grass cheese plate with onion jam, balsamic, toast points; Prince Edward mussels with house bacon, chili, preserved lemon, herbs; BBQ quail eggs 3; Laughing bird shrimp & grits with poached shrimp, pickled mushrooms, sweet grass grits; house made ravioli with roasted beet & goat cheese filling, cherry tomato, tarragon, butter; Caesar salad with deviled egg, onion rings; iceberg wedge with ranch, southern trail mix; arugula salad with house duck ham, blueberries, spiced pecans, lemon vin; dill pickle soup with smoked paprika oil, fried dill; cream of celery root soup with cured egg, cracklin, celery oil. Entrees; fried chicken & duck duo with mac n cheese, coca cola baked beans, Ga. moonshine BBQ sauce; surf & turf is with scallop, pork belly, green pea risotto, candied mustard; Scottish salmon with white yam puree, rainbow chard, grilled lemon beurre blanc; crispy springer mountain half chicken with pearl onions, chantelle mushrooms, fennel, roast chicken jus; braised lamb shank with white bean ragout, mint, garlic chips; marinated Delmonico ribeye with sweet potato gratin, roasted Brussels sprouts; country fried short ribs with truffle mash, baby carrots, roasted tomato gravy; veggie plate is choice of 3, truffle mash, Mac n cheese, coca cola baked beans, sweet grass grits, Swiss chard, white bean ragout, baby carrots, sweet potato fries, seasonal veggies sautéed.

 

Pepper Crusted New Zealand Lamb Chops The Pecan College Park, GA

 

Atlantic Fried Lobster Tails The Pecan College Park, GA

 

 

Scottish Salmon The Feed Store Restaurant College Park, GA


 Braised Lamb Shank The Feed Store Restaurant College Park, GA

 

 

 

 

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    The King Center The King Center Atlanta, Georgia
    The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change is located in the Sweet Auburn historic district of Atlanta, Georgia near the Ebenezer Baptist Church, as well as Martin's birthplace. It had begun in the basement of the King's house in the year after his assassination by his wife, Coretta Scott King, and was moved to a multimillion dollar site on Auburn Street in 1981. In 1977, a wonderful memorial tomb was dedicated, and the remains of Martin were then moved to the plaza that sits between the church and the center, with his gravesite and reflecting pool located next to Freedom Hall. In 2006, Coretta was interred with her beloved husband and now they can rest side by side. Just after that, the center became a privately owned inholding, although there have been discussions by the family as to whether it should be sold to the National Park Service or kept private. The site has become a beacon to all those that love and cherish freedom and welcomes over a million visitors from around the world that come here and pay homage to the leader of America's greatest nonviolent movement for peace, justice and equality. The center is filled with outstanding exhibits about Martin's life and teachings, and while here, be sure to visit the library and archives, his gravesite, bookstore, birthplace and resource center. The King Center offers diverse communications media to reach far beyond its physical boundaries with books, video cassettes, audio cassettes, CDs, DVDs, film, television and web pages. All these resources will inform you about Martin's life, his work , philosophy and methods of nonviolent conflict-reconciliation and social change; as well as the continuing efforts to fulfill his dream of this nation and the world we all live in and share. You will learn about the Beloved Community, the King Center partnerships and relationships, the Kingian principles of nonviolence and so much more that is sure to enlighten you about this world we live in and the constant changes and growth that we face together in hopes of working towards and achieving many of his goals and mission in life.

    Fort Peach Tree
    Fort Peach Tree Atlanta, Georgia
    Fort Peach Tree in Atlanta, Georgia is today merely a replication of the first non-Indian settlement in the city, constructed by the Atlanta Bureau of Water and near the Atlanta Waterworks pumping station, the fort looks down on the Chattahoochee River where it joins with Peachtree Creek. The history of this early fort starts out with the War of 1812, when the river was considered the frontier between the Creek and Cherokee nations and the standing peach tree would become the main contact point for the Indian and white traders. In the War of 1812, the Cherokee would attack the Creeks who had allied themselves with the British, and in the summer of 1813, the state's governor, David Mitchell, who had already contacted the Secretary of War about the incidents, then acted to protect the frontiers of the state against the Creeks. The fort was constructed by James Montgomery under the direction of Lt. Gilmer, since the land had been ceded to the Cherokees by the Creeks with a treaty with General Andrew Jackson; which then would become a part of Georgia that was reserved to Jasper County. By July, 1814, the fort, five boats, two big blockhouses, a boatyard, one storehouse and six dwellings had been constructed, which created the first non-Indian settlement that grew into Atlanta. The fort site has been preserved by the Daughters of the American Revolution, and they have dedicated themselves to continuing the memory and spirit of the men and women that achieved American Independence and helped create patriotic citizenship.

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    Georgia Governor's MansionGeorgia Governor's Mansion Atlanta, Georgia
    The Governor's mansion is the official residence of the governor of Georgia, located on Paces Ferry Rd in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia. The mansion is located on the land that had been owned by former city mayor, Robert Maddox, who had owned a big English Tudor style house on the property; but had been badly burned in a fire and Maddox later sold it to the state, with the remnants demolished at the time of the new construction. The mansion is a three story, 30 room, Greek Revival style house that was constructed in 1967 and sits on about 18 acres in north-northwest Atlanta, designed by state architect, Thomas Bradbury. The mansion would be severely damaged in 1975 by a tornado that first hit west, then north Atlanta in March, just a week after Governor Busbee moved in after he had been inaugurated and would need a major renovation. That event would end up being called the "governor's tornado" and had been the worst natural disaster to strike the city, until the 2008 storm that struck downtown, and later that same year, the front door would be messed up by a fire in another remodeling job, but the city's fire department made quick work of putting it out. The fire happened after work hours, and the governor and his wife were not there at the time. The house contains 24,000 square feet and contains 30 Doric columns around the porches, made from California redwoods and stretch 24 feet high. The columns were hollowed out and specially treated on the interior so that water could drain from the roof. The grounds are more park-like in appearance with many trees, tennis courts, a swimming pool, the greenhouse and children's playground. The main feature of the entrance is the Georgia marble fountain set in front of the mansion with three big flagpoles. The mansion's three levels are the lower, the main and the upper, with the lower level containing many rooms that help support the mansion, and also houses a large ballroom. It has room for 175 people for a formal sit-down dinner and can be used for smaller functions also. The main floor is the state floor with the rooms here used for official entertaining, and during the day whatever activities are needed. Once you enter the mansion, the first thing you come to is the entrance hall, and on the right side is the Georgia library that has many books written by Georgia authors, and outside sit the pool and patio. On the left side the guest bedroom is located, which is the only bedroom on the floor. As you walk to the rear, you come upon the Circular Hall containing the large grand staircase and the state dining room and sitting room on the left side. Both of these rooms are often used for formal state functions, and the back center of the hall contains the powder room on the right. The family's dining room is just in front and the family's sitting room to the left. The kitchen occupies the back corner of the dining room, and all three of these rooms are used by the family since the mansion only has the one kitchen. The upper floor houses the governor's private living quarters, as well as the governor's office, first lady's office and the family's living room. This floor has numerous special bedrooms, like the Presidential suite that contains its own sitting room, bedroom and bath that looks out over the front lawn. The Carter Bedroom, that was named after the former President, the Lincoln Bedroom and the others bedrooms are located on the floor. Every piece of the mansion's furnishings are museum quality and contains one of the best Federal period collections in America. The furnishings had been obtained by a 70 member fine arts committee when the mansion was still in the construction stages and is a permanent collection owned by the state; never changing.

    High Museum of Art
    High Museum of Art Atlanta, Georgia
    The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia has grown into one of the best art museums in the southeastern United States, a division of the Woodruff Art Center that includes the Alliance Theater, the 14th Street Playhouse, Young Audiences and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The museum houses over 11,000 works of art in its permanent collections that contain 19th and 20th century American art, African American art, photography, African art, European art, decorative arts and modern and contemporary art. Some of the main features include works of art by Chuck Close, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Martin Johnson Heade, Claude Monet, Dorothea Lange and Clarence John Laughlin. The museum puts special emphasis on the support and collection of southern self-taught artists like Howard Finster and contains a contextual installation of paintings and sculptures from his Paradise Gardens. The High has a curatorial department that is just for self-taught art, one distinction that is very unique among museums in this country. Their media arts department produces a film series each year, as well as festivals of classic, independent and foriegn films. Their special exhibits contain excellent global partnerships with various other museums like the Louvre and the Opifico delle pietre dure in Florence and the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. The museum started in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, and in 1926, the High family, which is who the museum has been named after, would donate their house on Peachtree Street, after a series of exhibitions that involved the Grand Central Art Galleries that was organized by Atlanta collector, J. J. Haverty. Quite a few of those artworks are now part of the museum's collection, with a separate building constructed for the museum next to the house in 1955. Then in 1962, 106 Atlanta art patrons died in a terrible airplane crash at Orly Airport in Paris, France, on a museum-sponsored trip. 130 people, that included the crew and other passengers would die that day in what was the worst single plane crash in history up to that time. Many people from prominent families in the city lost members that included the Berry family, that started Berry College, and while visiting had seen Whistler's Mother at the Louvre. So, in the fall of that year, the Louvre, in a gesture of good will to the people of Atlanta, loaned the painting to Atlanta to be exhibited at the association's museum on Peachtree Street. Wishing to honor those people that died in the plane crash, the museum had the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center built for them, and the nation of France donated a Rodin sculpture called the "Shade" to the museum in memory of those victims. Then, in 1983, a 135,000 square foot structure, designed by architect Richard Meier opened to contain the High Museum of Art, funded by a $7.9 million challenge grant from former Coca-Cola president, Robert W. Woodruff that was matched by $20 million by the museum it had raised. In 2002, the museum would add three more new buildings designed by Renzo Piano that doubled the space to 312,000 square feet, and had been part of an overall upgrade to the complete Woodruff Arts Center complex.

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 2300 Rental Car Center Pkwy.

Thrifty Car Rental College Park
 4100 Global Gateway Connector

    Margaret Mitchell House and MuseumMargaret Mitchell House and Museum Atlanta, Georgia
    The Margaret Mitchell House and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia sits on Peachtree Street and was the home of Margaret Mitchell, the famous author that wrote "Gone With the Wind", which became a bestselling book and Pulitzer Prize winner, as well as going on to become a favorite film of the same name. The house had been called the Crescent Apartments when she and her husband lived in Apartment 1 on the ground floor from 1925 to 1932. While she lived there, she would write the majority of her novel, and the site today has a visitor's center and museum building that is completely dedicated to the 1939 movie. The house had been constructed as a single family home in 1899, and as commercial development began to overtake the area, and in 1907, the original owners moved to Druid Hills and the house would change hands numerous times. Then in the winter of 1913-1914, the house would be moved onto a new basement story that had been built on the back of the lot and given a Crescent Avenue address. It was remodeled in 1919 and converted into a ten-unit apartment house known as the Crescent apartments and three brick stores constructed where the house had originally been. The area at that time was in the city's biggest business district outside of the downtown area, but close to trolley line and walking distance to Margaret's parents' house. The apartment would be home to Margaret Mitchell and John Marsh when they were married in 1925, and then the owner would become over-extended and the apartment complex sold at auction in 1926. The next owner didn't have much luck either as he lost his money in the stock market crash of 1929 and ended up bankrupt. The building's maintenance would get worse, so that Margaret's characterization of their apartment would be "the Dump". In the fall of 1931, there were just two occupied apartments in the building, with one rented by the Marshes, who would finally move away in the spring of 1932, just a couple of blocks away. The city continued to go through the years that became known as the Great Depression and Margaret would sell her book and then the movie rights and the rest is history that can be read and more learned about her at the museum that sits across the street in what had been the site of a local bank branch of BankSouth.

    Marietta Museum of History
    Marietta Museum of History Marietta, GeorgiaThe Marietta Museum of History in Marietta, Georgia was opened in 1996 on the second floor of the Kennesaw House that had been a cotton warehouse constructed in 1845. In 1855, the building would be converted to a hotel called the Fletcher House, and during the Civil War, it would become a temporary hospital and morgue. Because of that horror, the building has become the subject of numerous stories and local ghost folklore, with appearances of it being shown on PBS, CNN and the History Channel. Presently, the museum contains four galleries that showcase collections from local history, the military and home life; along with a special Civil War collection that features the history of the Georgia Military Institute, its involvement in the infamous Union plan to steal the Confederate locomotive called the General and the story about the only slave that would be buried in the Marietta Confederate Cemetery. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Marietta and Cobb county by offering an educational, engaging and enlightening experience. The galleries contain special exhibits, the Kennesaw house, Andrews Raiders, the military, local history and homelife, with a marvelous new aviation wing located on a 15.5 acre park that has many military and civilian aircraft from the last half of the 20th century, as well as those that had been produced locally in Marietta. The aviation history begins in the city during the 1940s with Bell Aircraft and continued growing with the Lockheed-Martin complex that was here during the 1950s to the present day. Aviation has continued to play an important role in the city's history and with aircraft manufacturing still an important industry, the Aviation Wing allows visitors to enjoy and explore the complete story of the area around here. The wing is scheduled to open to the public the beginning of the New Year in 2011.

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    Atlanta History CenterAtlanta History Center Atlanta, Georgia
    The Atlanta History Center sits majestically in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia, as one of the nation's premier history museums that began in 1926, and today has 12 exhibits, with other historical gardens and houses situated on the grounds. The Kenan Research Center contains 3.5 million resources and a replica of historian Franklin Garrett's office. It also houses one of the biggest and best collections of Civil War relics in the world as well as the Tullie Smith farm and the Swan House that are located here. The center runs three kinds of exhibits; traveling, permanent and temporary, with six permanent exhibits; that include; the Phillip Trammel Shutze collection, the Centennial Olympic Museum, the Down the Fairway with Bobby Jones exhibit, the Turning Point: the American Civil War exhibit, the Metropolitan Frontiers and the Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South exhibit. The temporary exhibits include; the War in Our Backyards: Discovering Atlanta, 1861-1865, Native Lands: Indians and Georgia and the Voices Across the Color Line: the Atlanta Student Movement. The center also manages some historic house museums as well and these include; the Tullie Smith house which is an antebellum farmhouse constructed by the Robert Smith family and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which had been a small farm in Dekalb County that had 11 slaves and 200 acres. There is also the Victorian and Lee playhouses that are miniature, the Swan house that was designed by Philip Trammell Shutze in the 1920s and named so because of its numerous swan designs, surrounded by the Boxwood Garden based on Italian gardens like those created during the 18th century period in England by William Kent and Lord Burlington. The historic gardens that encompass the house include the Cherry Sims garden with Asian and native south-eastern plants, the Frank A. Smith rhododendron garden and the Swan house boxwood garden that both contain native plants; the Quarry Garden that contains pre-settlement plants alone and the Tullie Smith farm garden that features plants used in the 1860s gardening and is divided into two parts, with a field filled with profitable vegetables and a smaller slave's garden. The center also owns the renovated Margaret Mitchell House and Museum and the Literary Center.

    Georgia Aquarium
    The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, at Pemberton Place is the world's biggest aquarium with over 8.5 million gallons of marine and fresh water containing over 100,000 animals the represent 500 different species. Some of its more notable wildlife include; four young whale sharks, four manta rays and four beluga whales. The funding was given mostly by Home Depot co-founder, Bernie Marcus, with a $250 million donation and it was constructed on a 20 acre site just north of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown. Marcus gives the credit for the donation to his 60th birthday dinner that was held at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 1990 as one of his inspirations that was behind the desire to construct an aquarium in Atlanta. He announced his idea to build the aquarium in the city in November of 2001, hoping to encourage economic and educational growth, after he and his wife, Billi had visited some 56 aquariums in 13 different countries researching and designing a structure, and then donating the money toward's that goal. Another $40 million would come from major corporations like Turner Broadcasting, Time Warner, AT&T, Coca-Cola company, AirTran Airways, Georgia-Pacific, Home Depot, Southern Company, UPS and SunTrust. Marcus would then hire Jeff Swanagan, the CEO of the Florida Aquarium to become the Georgia Aquarium's first employee in 2002, since Jeff had been credited with turning around the financially troubled aquarium while being its CEO. Jeff would become the founding president and executive director, and has been seen as the creator of the aquarium, overseeing almost every part of the construction of the aquarium, from the design to the procurement of the animals that would be housed in the exhibits. After more than two years, the aquarium had 2 food service kitchens, 60 animal habitats, parking lot, gift shops, 16,400 square feet of ballroom space, an on-site restaurant, 4-D theater, and more, the aquarium opened on November 21, 2005. The aquarium houses between 100,000 and 120,000 fish and other sea wildlife that represents over 500 species, with the true number of specimens being reported as 55,000 previously and were brought here by UPS in 42 tanks aboard an MD-11 from Taiwan; with UPS donating the cost which many believed was over $200,000. It is the only aquarium outside Asia that houses whale sharks, which are held in a 6.3 million gallon tank, with the aquarium actually being constructed around the whale shark exhibit. The aquarium is also only one of two in the nation that exhibits great hammerhead sharks, with the other being the Adventure Aquarium.

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May 12, 2011