About Us

Our History

A historical treasure in the heart of the city.

A brief thirty years after the Civil War Battle of Atlanta had leveled the city, business people, civic leaders and the city’s hard-working residents had contributed to Atlanta’s resurgence as a powerful engine of prosperity. Its location as a rail transportation hub and the presence of civic-minded leaders led to new ideas and the energy and money to implement them. Among these historical innovators, entrepreneurs Joel Hurt and Samuel Inman formed the Atlanta and Edgewood Street Railway Company and started the first electric streetcar system in the U.S. It ran along Edgewood Avenue and carried the residents of Hurt’s newly platted and gracious garden suburb, Inman Park, to downtown Atlanta. The Trolley Barn housed the offices of the streetcar company and the maintenance depot for the electric cars.

Its tenure was short, however, as trolley technology developed further and various trolley lines throughout the city merged into a citywide network. After the turn of the 20th century, The Trolley Barn was used as a church, a basketball court, a farmer’s market, for various mercantile activities, and as a storage and repair facility for antiques.

By the late 1960s Inman Park and The Trolley Barn were in deplorable shape, the result of demographic changes and the construction of expressways to serve the ever-expanding popularity of the automobile. By the early 1970s The Trolley Barn was in such a state of disrepair that it had been condemned by the City of Atlanta, and another artifact of the city’s history was almost lost, joining the list of transportation-related structures torn down and forgotten, such as Atlanta’s Terminal Station.

It was fortunate that at the same time, a revival of interest in city living by young urban pioneers with more energy than money was underway. A group of Inman Park neighbors, already battling grime and decay in their old bungalows and cottages, banded together to try to save The Trolley Barn. The group prevailed upon the City to buy the building and lease it to the neighborhood group, with the understanding that they would undertake its restoration and preservation. A 501 (c)(3) organization was formed, using the old streetcar company’s name: Atlanta and Edgewood Street Railway Company (AESRC.) Its purpose was to raise funds to stabilize and renovate The Trolley Barn. Through its fund-raising efforts and the volunteer labor of many Inman Park neighborhood residents, The Barn’s restoration was officially completed in 1987 and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held, hosted by Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and attended by District 5 Representative John Lewis and other dignitaries.

Since that time The Trolley Barn has been operated as an events facility. At first it was owned by the City of Atlanta; in 2016, after a volunteer fundraising effort it was purchased by the AESRC, which uses the funds raised by its rental to continue its preservation and to further its non-profit purposes.

Our Mission

The Trolley Barn’s non-profit charitable mission has been affirmed and fulfilled by its all-volunteer Board of Directors as:

  • Continuing preservation of The Trolley Barn
  • Service to the community of Inman Park
  • Service to other non-profit organizations and institutions
  • Operation as a public archive
  • Providing a location where the public can easily view artifacts that illustrate the history of the AESRC and the neighborhood.

Testimonials

“Wow, what a magical venue The Trolley Barn is for all types of events and gatherings. My husband and I got married at The Trolley Barn in September of 2018 and my guests are still raving about how gorgeous this place is, inside and out. We chose this venue because its unique history and its breathtaking architecture. I am a Set Decorator in film and television and with just a little bit of decor, our guests felt like they had transcended into a movie set at our wedding. As you can see from some of our photos, it was a breathtaking event. And the staff at The Trolley Barn are very accommodating with requests, questions and vendor site visits. This is such a special little gem in the heart of the city and you should definitely check it out to help make your event as memorable as ours was.”

 

– Dustin B.

 

Testimonials

“Lisa, the director, was always responsive and definitely accommodative and understanding. They allow for BYOB and we had to drop off the liquor along with a lot of other stuff the day prior, and she was totally fine with it. I got my deposit back after the wedding in like one week. The area for the ceremony was also very pretty :)”

– Aiden N.

Testimonials

“The perfect venue for an amazing price. And essentially one of the only ways to have a rustic/shabby chic/barn wedding in the middle of the city. We had our ceremony on the patio and the reception inside. For a flat fee you have unlimited use of tables/chairs/etc. We were able to bring/choose all of our own alcohol, pick our favorite caterer (highly recommend Fox Bros.), and essentially customize everything. The back parking lot is perfect for food trucks (we had Waffle House come in late night). The Trolley Barn staff was very laid back and accommodating. The entire outside is so beautiful for photos and even has a rustic bar. Plenty of parking. Located in beautiful and convenient Inman Park. For a couple wanting to do the wedding and reception in the same place you truly can’t beat it.”

– Shari T.

Testimonials

“We just had our ceremony and reception at The Trolley Barn. The staff were great and easy to work with, I loved having our reception outside in the garden area. They were accommodating when we needed to add extra hours on at the last minute for our drapery to get hung. Everything turned out beautiful. We had a band and didn’t have any sound issues.”

– Kristina B.

Testimonials

“Everything about our experience with The Trolley Barn was perfect. The staff was helpful and very responsive in the months and days leading up to our wedding. The courtyard in the back was so perfect of our ceremony and required a minimal amount of decor to make it very special.”

– Suzanne R.

Contact Us

Phone: 404.521.2308

Address: 963 Edgewood Avenue, NE Atlanta, GA 30307

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