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Senior Director of Capital Projects Neale Nickels with the Historic Oakland Foundation joins the Atlanta Real Estate Radio podcast to share the rich past and preservation of Oakland Cemetery. Nickels joins host Carol Morgan on the Around Atlanta segment and discusses upcoming events and ways to support the iconic Atlanta landmark.
Not native to Georgia, working for the Historic Oakland Foundation allowed Nickels and his family to connect with the rich history and the city of Atlanta in a unique way. Oakland Cemetery was founded by the city of Atlanta in 1850, back before the capital was the great urban center we know today. A small but growing community, Atlanta was in need of a municipal cemetery.
As the cemetery developed, there was a shift in thinking regarding cemeteries internationally, transitioning from considering graveyards to cemeteries which translates to a final resting place for family and loved ones. Since 1976, the foundation’s mission has been to preserve, restore, enhance and share Oakland Cemetery and its gifts with the surrounding community.
“The idea of a celebration of life really came to be in that time. That’s really kind of what we have carried through here in the 21st century and what the Historic Oakland Foundation strives to do,” Nickels said. “To celebrate the lives of those Atlantans who are buried here and to tell their stories.”
The foundation’s first brick-and-mortar fundraiser, The Living History Capital Campaign has a lofty goal of $12 million and to date has raised a little over $10.3 million! In the last 10 years, the Historic Oakland Foundation has been making great strides to increase the restoration and preservation of the grounds to meet the needs of growing visitation. The campaign’s goal is to triple the investment for the cemetery and foundation.
Nickels said, “This campaign is designed to catapult us into that next level, and it will include some very significant projects…It’s really aimed at building on the good work we’ve done and preparing us to better serve the families involved at Oakland [and] the people who come to visit.”
With the funds raised from the Living History Capital Campaign, the Historic Oakland Foundation has plans to open a visitors center outside of the cemetery gates. Due to increased programming and guests, the foundation has outgrown the space and is in need of an upgrade. The visitors center will move from its current location of 50 years, a gothic bell tower constructed in 1899.
The new 10,000 square-foot visitors center will house the gift shop as well as act as a first stop for guests in terms of organization, directions and more. There will also be a spacious, flexible community space available for rent with a great view of the cemetery below that is perfect for visiting K through 12 and college groups.
Tune in to the full interview above to learn more about the Historic Oakland Foundation or visit www.OaklandCemetery.com.
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Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and Historic Oakland Foundation are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (March/2022)
New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 216,000+ loans for $56.8 billion, 171 branches and about 4,500+ employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America seven times. For more information, call 678-898-3540 or visit https://branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.
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