Grove Park was named for Dr. Edwin Wiley Grove, president of the Grove Park Development Company, a pharmaceutical magnate who also built Atkins Park near Virginia-Highland in northeast Atlanta, and many Asheville, North Carolina hotels including the Grove Park Inn.
Grove Park was developed in the 1920’s and 1930’s by various developers, but primarily by the Grove Park Development Company. The community was initially known as Fortified Hills, a name stemming from the Civil War. Grove named the streets for his wife, Gertrude, his daughter Evelyn, and his son, Edwin. Other street names are believed to have been inspired by his grandchildren: Matilda, Hortense, Emily, Elizabeth, Francis, Eleanor, Florence, Margaret, and Eugenia. Many of the side streets created in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s are wide, tree-lined avenues with well-tended frame cottages, brick Tudors and ranches.
Grove Park thrived in the 1960’s and was stable until the early 1970’s when suburban growth began to drain the area’s vitality as it siphoned off its base of middle-class residents. As population decreased the area began to deteriorate. Through the turn of the 21st century, the entire area witnessed a steady decline in population, property conditions and the local economy. As a result, many longtime businesses closed and were replaced by low-rent business such as liquor stores and pawn shops.
However, conditions in the area have changed over the past few years as the current trend towards in-town living gains popularity. Although the Grove Park area also has been dramatically affected by the nation’s foreclosure crisis, real estate investors expect proposed development plans — like the Atlanta BeltLine and proposed Westside Reservoir Park — to spur the neighborhood’s revitalization.