What 6 Major State Capitals Looked Like 100 Years Ago

  • Nashville street in 1933
Nashville street in 1933
Chronicle/ Alamy Stock Photo

One hundred years is a long time in the life of a city. New technologies emerge and wane, people come and go, cultural factors ebb and flow. But not all cities change at the same rate; some stay comparatively similar to their older incarnations, while others become drastically different. Here’s a glimpse at what a few iconic state capitals looked like a century ago.

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Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta was named after the Western and Atlantic Railroad, for which it was a terminus. In the early 20th century, the city was well established as a major railway hub, and the downtown was built around its first train station. Hotels were concentrated in an area near the station (called, fittingly, Hotel Row) in order to serve train travelers, and by the 1920s, masonry high-rises created the city’s skyline.

Like many cities during this period, Atlanta was beginning to expand its roads in order to accommodate increasing numbers of cars. In the 1920s, the city built three major viaducts to allow traffic to bypass the high number of railroad crossings. The Central Avenue, Pryor Street, and Spring Street (later renamed Ted Turner Drive) viaducts not only improved vehicle safety, but also led to development outside the city’s downtown core. 

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