Located at the sight of modern-day Frankie Allen Park, Macedonia Park was an African-American neighborhood dating back to 1870. Macedonia Park, later renamed as Bagley Park, was a small community consisting of freed slaves working as tenant farmers and domestic servants of nearby white families. The neighborhood was culturally centered on the Mount Olive Methodist Episcopal Church and cemetery. In 1921, developer John Owens created the African-American subdivision Macedonia Park. This neighborhood consisted of African-American residents who worked as chauffeurs, yardmen, and servants in the nearby Buckhead neighborhood. The neighborhood existed until the late 1940s when residents were displaced by Fulton County in favor of a neighborhood park. The new park was named Bagley Park after a prominent African-American businessman who lived in the neighborhood, William Bagley. To listen to an oral history of William Bagley’s granddaughter, Elon Butts Osby, click here. The park was renamed Frankie Allen Park in the 1980s after a popular umpire who played with Buckhead Baseball, a league for young boys at Bagley Park.
Bagley Park consisted of the Mount Olive Methodist Episcopal Church and cemetery, both of which date back to the neighborhood’s beginnings in 1870. After the development of the subdivision Macedonia Park, the neighborhood consisted of two additional churches, two grocery stores, restaurants, and a blacksmith shop. Houses in the neighborhood were of modest form and situated on narrow lots backing up to a creek.
The Bagley Park neighborhood was located in the Garden Hills division of Buckhead and consisted of approximately 21 acres. It was bordered on the north by Pharr Road, to the west by Peachtree Road, and to the east by Piedmont Road. The Mount Olive Church Cemetery is still in existence and sits east of the main entrance at the north end.
As part of a mid-twentieth century parks expansion in Fulton County, the Macedonia Park neighborhood was the target of a project to construct a park starting in 1945. Fulton County purchased the land and slowly pushed out African-American residents from 1945 to 1953 by negotiation, forced purchase, or eviction. The historic Mount Olive Methodist Episcopal Church was purchased and demolished in favor of a new community center. Fulton County built a large, new park at the site named Bagley Park. More recently, Buckhead Heritage and Elon Butts Osby fought to save the Mount Olive Cemetery, which was under threat of removal by a local developer. To learn more about these efforts, click here.
The only existing physical remnants that remain of the Bagley Park neighborhood is the Mount Olive Cemetery, which holds graves of the neighborhood’s residents.
Susan M. Conger, “Historic Bagley Park (Frankie Allen),” 2008.
Atlanta Daily World, “Several Bagley Park Families Left Homeless After Eviction,” October 22, 1948.
Buckhead Heritage Society
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