#TBT: Park Tavern’s unlikely beginnings, 1940s

Park Tavern is a landmark on Piedmont Park. It’s a meeting place for friends, and the bar overlooks the Music Midtown festival, as well as many other events, each year.

But I bet you didn’t know how part of that building was originally used.

The oldest section of the tavern that snuggles up to Tenth Street was once a clubhouse for the park’s golf course, it turns out. There’s the clubhouse in the image above, used on a postcard that the Atlanta Time Machine dates back to the 1940s or so.

(More: SunTrust Park construction, December update)

This seven-hole golf course was opened in 1896 by the Piedmont Driving Club, an exclusive group that gathered every so often in a stunning building on the other side of the park, wrote Golf Georgia. The 70-acre course started at the clubhouse and snaked its way through the park before ending at the Driving Club, proving a perfect afternoon activity for those wealthy gentlemen.

The Driving Club still exists and has hosted several presidents and important members of Atlanta’s history, according to the Atlanta History Center.

The golf course, however, was closed in 1979, according to the park’s website. The clubhouse remains, and you’ve probably seen it a time or two without knowing its actual history.

As you can see in the photo below, which I captured from Google Maps, that red-roofed clubhouse remains attached to Park Tavern today.

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In a city where so many buildings are torn down and replaced before they have any opportunity to gather some historical significance, it’s wonderful to see this old clubhouse still standing – even if I had no idea of its importance before I wrote this post.

Main image via Atlanta Time Machine

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