In 1887, Atlanta adopted a new city seal prominently featuring the mythical Phoenix. Like the Phoenix, Atlanta had risen from its own ashes following its destruction in 1864. Many times during the city’s history, Atlanta has redefined and reinvented itself, rising again as the city slogan, Resurgens, suggests. The “Atlanta Spirit” is another oft-referenced slogan describing an entrepreneurial and ambitious attitude that has shaped the city’s historical identity.
The sculpture, Atlanta from the Ashes, was given to the city by Rich’s department store on the occasion of their one-hundredth anniversary. The statue was originally located adjacent to the Rich’s store on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. In 1995, it was restored and moved to its current location in Woodruff Park.
It is difficult to imagine or predict what new image and vision the Atlanta Spirit will invent for this new age, but if it succeeds in meeting these challenges, Atlanta may become as Mayor Maynard Jackson once described it, “a gateway to a new time, a new era, a new beginning for the cities of our land.”