Kirkwood’s Pullman Yard has been an industrial site for a hundred years and currently lies vacant. Originally built as the Pratt Engineering company that manufactured parts for sugar and fertilizer factories. The first buildings were large brick structures.The Pratt company did defence contracting work during World War I and in the 1920s the entire facility was purchased by the Pullman passenger rail car company and converted to use for everything from regular car cleaning to entire rebuilds and refittings. This facility served the entire southeast and until they lost an anti-trust case in the late 1940s, Pullman owned and maintained all of its cars, leasing them out to various passenger rail lines around the country.
Along Rogers Rd, the small building with a ramp leading to the back was the laundry where all fabrics on a car were cared for. The large sawtooth building to the east held the steam-power generator used to power all of the various lifts and cranes throughout the yard.
The boiler still exists, but is so overgrown, we weren’t allowed over there during a tour. Different repair functions were done in each of eight bays in the main building, but those bays were parallel to each other, so a car would have to be moved from one to the other. This was done by rolling the car out the east side, onto a waiting motorized platform which could then slide it to the next needed doorway.
There is still one passenger car left in the facility. It was in such bad shape they didn’t bother moving it out.
Soon after the anti-trust loss, Pullman drastically scaled back operations and in 1950 sold the Atlanta yard to Georgia Power where it was used to service trackless trolleys for their mass transit operations. In 1990 the Georgia Building Authority bought the property and for a time in the mid 1990s, the state ran a supper train ride out to Stone Mountain called the New Georgia Railroad whose passenger terminal was located near the GSU campus in a small building now used by Atlanta Police Department which just happens to hold the original Atlantic Western zero mile marker which founded Atlanta.There is currently a debate as to the future of the site. The state still owns it and there is a chance it may become an electric substation or possibly a maintenance facility for suburban commuter buses. The neighborhood is against both of these ideas, and there are a few developers interested in the property. So who knows what will end up happening.
Here is the 1911 Sanborn Fire map of the Pratt site
Here is an aerial photo showing the entire Pullman facility in 1949. Green is the motorized, linear car-mover; yellow is the laundry and blue is the steam generator.
This was originally posted in 2008, I don’t have access to the building. I believe it is owned by Georgia Power