By Alisa Chambers
The Grant Park Conservancy has been awarded a $95,000 Park Pride Legacy Grant to support the restoration of the Milledge Triangle, one of the park’s most treasured landmarks.
“We are so excited and appreciative of Park Pride for supporting our organization and recognizing the importance of renovating the wonderful Milledge Triangle for our community and the city as a whole,” said Michelle Blackmon, executive director of the Grant Park Conservancy.
“At Park Pride, we believe that great parks have the power to bring a community together, and the revitalization of Grant Park’s Milledge Triangle is proof that this is true,” said Michael Halicki, executive director of Park Pride, which works with more than 60 organizations to improve community parks in Atlanta. “We’re proud that our Legacy Grant to the Grant Park Conservancy will help not just restore this historic landmark but will also bring people into the park and give them a beautiful place to connect to each other, to the outdoors, and to their city.”
Grant Park is Atlanta’s oldest and fourth-largest park, created in 1883. The landmark Milledge Fountain was built in 1927 at a major streetcar stop on the western side of the park. The massive brick and stone edifice was imagined as a gateway between the new urban intensity of booming Atlanta and the pastoral calm of the park. In subsequent decades, Grant Park suffered through urban decline, and the fountain long ago became inoperable.
In 2015, the Grank Park Conservancy launched the $550,000 Milledge Triangle Initiative to restore this historic fountain and reclaim the surrounding area. The triangle, which plays host on Sundays to the tremendously popular Grant Park Farmers Market, has become a central gathering point in the park. It also serves as a major pedestrian entry point from Cherokee Avenue.
GPC Board members Gigi Conner and Mandy Mooney have been spearheading this project for the past year.
“We started by gathering community input on what park users would like to see happen in this area,” Mooney said. “From there we developed a three-phased project to showcase the historic Milledge Fountain and transform this area into a vibrant gathering place for all park visitors.”
“Neighbors have wanted to see the tile repaired and water run through this fountain for well over a decade, and we are thrilled to finally be able to make that happen,” Conner said.
The Park Pride Legacy Grant funds will support completion of the first two phases of the project, which have a budget of $200,000. The first phase of the project will bring the front fountain back to life and restore its historic façade. The second phase will bring a facelift to the streetscape in front of the fountain, creating an inviting “front door” to that side of Grant Park.
Park Pride’s Legacy Grants are matching funds, meaning the Grant Park Conservancy must raise an additional $95,000.
“We are excited about the progress we have already made toward matching the funds Park Pride has awarded to us,” said David Dreyer, President of the GPC board. “Through the generous support of our members and neighbors, as well as remarkable funding from Georgia Power Company, we have already raised $65,000 towards the matching amount. We have a very active and supportive community and are confident they will continue to help us raise the remaining funds needed to complete this project.”
The final phase of the Milledge Triangle Initiative will involve developing a “pocket park” with an outdoor classroom and stage behind the fountain. This final phase will require additional funding of over $350,000.
The Grant Park Conservancy is committed to the restoration, renovation, beautification and maintenance of historic Grant Park. GPC’s vision is to create a world-class park that preserves its historic importance and features; provides venues for active and passive recreation for individuals, families, and youth; and is an oasis of greenspace in the heart of America’s greatest city. The Conservancy was established in 1998, works closely with Zoo Atlanta, area neighborhood associations, and is under a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Atlanta to protect and enhance the park.
If you would like to support the Grant Park Conservancy, visit or (404) 521-0938 extension 4.