English Avenue, located in the up and coming Vine City neighborhood, houses the English Avenue elementary school. This 117-year-old elementary school officially shuttered its doors in 1995. This had to deal an incredible blow to the already blighted area. English Avenue is considered one of the oldest Atlanta public school system buildings. Perfect for any historian seeking original Atlanta architecture that’s almost impossible to find in a city that obviously does not cherish historical buildings.
English Avenue was established in 1891 as an all-white neighborhood, with Vine City being the neighboring, all black neighborhood. English Avenue elementary was built to serve the all-white neighborhood of English Avenue, and it remained as such until the 1950’s, when the neighborhoods demographics began to change. White flight and desegregation forever changed the English Avenue elementary student body.
Famous alumni of English Avenue elementary were musical legend Gladys Knight, former Presidental hopeful Herman Cain, and State Representative Mable Thomas.
Ironically enough, in 2010, State Representative “Able” Mable Thomas purchased the property with the assistance of the Greater Vine City Opportunities Program (GVCOP) in hopes of revitalizing it and providing the community with much-needed beneficial programs to service the youth. So far, GVCOP and State Representative Mable Thomas has continued to raise funds in hopes of saving the original building and eventually bringing those plans to fruition. It’s nice to know that Atlantans are attempting to preserve this historical building, rather than destroy it and replace it with over priced houses and apartments.