People may be calling it “the next great international city,” but Atlanta already has an impressive cultural heritage, and it’s waiting to be sampled at the brand new Atlanta History Museum.

The $11 million, 83,000-square-foot facility is the newest addition to the Atlanta History Center on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead, which includes the Swan House, a 1928 mansion designed by Philip Trammell Shutze; the Tullie Smith farm, a mid-1800s farmhouse; a Victorian playhouse, and 32 acres of gardens.

Five exhibitions currently on display tell the story of Atlanta, starting with the days of Indians and pioneers and running through to its selection as the host of the 1996 Olympic Games.

Often, these exhibits have an unusual focus and perspective. Rather than glorify the Civil War, the exhibit “Gone for a Soldier” tells the story from the common soldier’s viewpoint. “The Herndons: Style and Substance of the Black Upper Class in Atlanta, 1880-1930,” focuses on Atlanta’s first millionaire black family and the role of the city’s black elite in shaping the city’s development.

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