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History

1874 – The City of Atlanta (1 ½ mile radius) is divided into four wards or political districts (see map). Hence the term “Old Fourth Ward.” Ponce and Piedmont are lined with mansions. The area where Siena sits today is mainly undeveloped. 

1917 – The Great Atlanta Fire destroyed most of the fourth ward. The place where Siena stands today consisted of row houses with wooden shingles and was completely destroyed along with many of the mansions on Ponce. (http://www.answers.com/topic/great-atlanta-fire-of-1917). 

1918 -1960 – Pine-Bedford Park (now Central Park) and Renaissance Parkway remain largely undeveloped. The fourth ward as a whole becomes a working class, mainly African American neighborhood. The area is referred to as “Buttermilk Bottom” because runoff would mix with grey soils from the unpaved streets and resemble buttermilk.

1960’s – “Urban Renewal” picks up steam around where Siena stands today. The Civic Center, U-Rescue Villas, and C.W. Elementary School are built in the Bedford-Pine Community. There is harsh criticism to the redevelopment by some civic and civil rights leaders. 

1971 – Park Central Communities purchases 78 acres of vacant land encompassing land from North Avenue to Ralph McGill. 

1972 -1980 The Atlanta area, along with the rest of the nation, experiences a real estate depression with interest rates soaring to 21%. Meanwhile, Park Central Communities led by Mr. Jim Martin, creates a master plan for the community that will become “Renaissance Park.” The new master planned community becomes the 1st development in the “back to the city movement “in Atlanta. Georgia Power purchases land from Park Central Communities to build a new Atlanta headquarters. 

1975 – Charlie Ackerman of Ackerman & Co. and Herman Russell of H.J. Russell sign on to the project. 

1988 – Siena at Renaissance Park (Phase III of the master planned community) begins development. 

1989 -52 units (Siena phase I) are completed & completely sold out. 

1991 – 62 units (Siena phase II) are completed & completely sold out. Today, SoNo, Central Atlanta -- or whatever you call our neighborhood -- has been touched by every phase of Atlanta’s turbulent history including its current “renaissance,” which Siena at Renaissance has led since 1989.