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Revisiting Christmas 1957: A vicarious trip via Atlanta History Center

By Guest Columnist BO HIERS, who recently “semi-retired” from a 35-year career in the reinsurance industry and is a recently minted Atlanta History Center volunteer

Close your eyes and step back in time with me. Imagine an Atlanta without the Falcons, Braves and Hawks. The glitzy Mercedes Benz Stadium and SunTrust Park are nowhere to be found. Think of our town without the Peachtree Plaza, Atlantic Station, IBM Tower and all the other tall buildings that dominate the landscape of Downtown Atlanta and Midtown. We’re in full imagination mode now, so let’s keep going.

Traffic is a breeze in this era, thanks entirely to a drastically smaller metro area population, roughly 85 percent less than it is today. Fewer people meant fewer cars on the road. Speaking of roads, there is no daily backup at the top end of I-285, or, for that matter, the bottom end of Ga. 400. I’m sure you’ve already guessed why – we’ve stepped so far back in time that there is no Ga. 400 or I-285.