President and CEO of the Atlanta History Center Sheffield Hale is in the studio for today’s Around Atlanta segment of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Joined by co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick, the group discusses the exhibits and amenities offered to preserve and study Atlanta history.
Hale has a background in law and practiced in Atlanta for 16 years. For 10 years, he also served as the chief counsel for the American Cancer Society. Hale has acted as CEO of the Atlanta History Center for nine years after serving as Chair of the Board for the establishment.
The Atlanta History Center aims to connect people, history and culture to create a stronger Atlanta community. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of civil war artifacts in the nation as well as 33 garden acres, Swan House, an 1860s farmstead and the Atlanta Cyclorama.
“People aren’t aware that we have these kinds of amenities,” said Hale. “The biggest thing I would say to describe the Atlanta History Center is surprise, because there’s so many different ways you can enter and understand.”
Rain or shine, the Atlanta History Center provides multiple options to explore its facilities both indoors by browsing its many exhibits or outdoors by strolling through the gardens and rock quarry. Visitors can also view Swan House, a 1928 historical estate filled with its original 18th-century furnishings, or take a walk through Smith Family Farm, which includes Atlanta’s oldest farmhouse surrounded by a restored farm with heirloom items. There is an abundance of ways to discover different facets of the Center, and often more than one visit is required to experience all that it offers, including permanent and changing displays.
Just two years ago, the Atlanta History Center added the Atlanta Cyclorama, a larger-than-life panoramic painting of the Battle of Atlanta, as well as new surrounding exhibits. Contrary to beliefs that the Cyclorama provides a Southern vision of the Civil War, the painting was produced in 1886 by a Milwaukee-based team of German immigrants to depict a Union victory and was intended to tour in Northern cities.
Due to the pandemic, the Atlanta History Center has strongly embraced social distancing guidelines to ensure safe visits for all guests. Currently, all of the Center’s events have transitioned to virtual experiences including free author talks, educational tours and online programming for Juneteenth. In the future, the Center plans to implement a combination of both in-person and virtual events to provide greater access to the public.
To learn more about the Atlanta History Center and the exhibits it offers, be sure to listen to the full interview above. You can also visit www.atlantahistorycenter.com for more information.
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