Zero Mile Post

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The Zero Mile Post with the initials of the Western & Atlanta railroad visible.

An issue of grave concern to Atlanta residents and historians is the imminent danger to the City’s Zero Mile Post.  APC Executive Director Boyd Coons is quoted in an April 25, 2018 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article stating the APC’s support for keeping the marker in its historic location. 

"Coons said the area surrounding the Zero Mile Post has been on his group’s endangered list for some time. Too often, he said, state agencies destroy a site, place a historical marker there and call it a day.

Downtown’s entire street grid grew around the city’s rail connections, Coons said, and 'the Zero Mile Post is at the center of all that. It’s the city’s central anchor.'”

The marker, in its current spot since 1850 and currently hidden away in a parking garage at the Central Avenue Viaduct, was originally placed in 1837 between Forsyth and Magnolia streets to mark the original southern terminus point of the Western and Atlantic railroad, which gave Atlanta its original moniker of Terminus.  The original borders of the City, renamed Atlanta in 1845, were drawn in a one-mile radius from this point and the State Depot near Pryor Street, and an 1874 city charter extended this radius.  The building protecting the marker is slated for demolition related to construction in the area and the fate of the mile post is uncertain. 

The Atlanta Preservation Center fears that the marker will be removed from its currently historical home and context or possibly lost or destroyed. Recently the Atlanta City Council passed a resolution to preserve the 1850 Zero Mile Post in place.  The resolution calls for the preservation of the Western and Atlantic Railroad Zero-Mile Post in its historic site underneath the Central Avenue viaduct. The City resolves to work with the State of Georgia such that the 1850 Zero Mile Post "shall be protected and remain in perpetuity in its historic site underneath the Central Ave Viaduct where it shall be easily accessible to visitors and residents seeking to better understand and connect with the history of this great history."  APC will continue to monitor this preservation issue as the Central Avenue Viaduct is replaced.


Address: The viaduct beneath the Central Avenue bridge, approx. 90 Central Avenue. Atlanta, GA
Area of City: Downtown