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Oakland Visitor Center

A new Visitor Center outside Oakland’s gates will provide welcoming spaces for enhanced educational and public programming at the Cemetery. The new building—a block from the King Memorial MARTA station—will serve as a welcoming “front door” to Atlanta’s historic Oakland Cemetery.

Historic Oakland Foundation is redeveloping two lots outside Oakland’s main gate on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive into a new Visitor Center with a greenspace plaza and flexible outdoor programmatic space. Beyond expanding the Foundation’s ability to share Oakland Cemetery with the public and generating new revenue to be reinvested into the Foundation’s mission, the new building will also connect the Cemetery to the Memorial Drive Greenway, the linear park that begins at Oakland’s main gate and extends along Memorial Drive all the way to the State Capitol.

Construction on the Oakland Cemetery Visitor Center began in September 2023.

If you have questions or would like to discuss how to honor your loved ones with a legacy gift in support of the Visitor Center please contact Executive Director Richard Harker at rharker@oaklandcemetery.com.

Project Status

Total Cost: $7,700,000

The Building and Grounds

Aesthetically, the new Visitor Center will pay homage to the red brick of Oakland’s defining walls and walkways. Large glass entryways and windows will provide a modern contrast to the brick and give this building gravitas befitting the importance of the Cemetery and of the Foundation to the city.

At 10,000 square feet, the new building, designed by Smith Dalia Architects, will include:

  • Retail Space: 1,000 square feet for a new gift shop, including retail office and storage
  • Common Area Space: 3,000 square feet  including atrium, interpretive space, and public restrooms
  • Event Space: 3,000 square feet with a catering kitchen and built-in AV systems
  • Office Space: space for staff offices along with conference rooms and meeting space

The grounds will include a welcome plaza, event lawn, woodland walk, bioretention gardens, parking, and bike racks

Sustainability

Placing environmental sustainability and equity at the center of the design process, Historic Oakland Foundation has worked with Southface Institute to have the building EarthCraft certified upon completion and make the building net zero (producing more energy than it consumes.)

In partnering with the Lifecycle Building Center, significant salvaged materials, including tiles from the recently shuttered historic Nabisco Factory in Sylvan Hills, will be used in the project.

Additionally, support from the Coca-Cola Foundation is making possible the creation of bioretention gardens for the site’s stormwater that are anticipated to navigate over one million gallons of stormwater a year out of the municipal system.

Leave a Lasting Legacy at Oakland

Purchase a personalized brick and help pave the way for a dramatically improved Cemetery that still belongs to all of us—residents and visitors alike. Your brick will be installed on the public plaza outside the main entrance of the new Oakland Cemetery Visitor Center where it will become a permanent part of Oakland’s history. Memorialize a loved one, honor a friend, or simply acknowledge your family’s valued support of Historic Oakland Foundation.

  • Each 4″x8″ brick will allow for three lines of text with up to 16 characters per line. 4″x8″ Bricks are $250 each or two for $450.
  • Each 8″x8″ brick will allow for up to five lines of text with up to 16 characters per line. 8″x8″ Bricks are $450.

Your purchase is partially tax-deductible.

Visitor Center Updates

Visitor Center Construction Update: February 2024

HOF Executive Director Richard Harker and Director of Capital Projects Neale Nickels update us on…

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Visitor Center Construction Update: December 2023

HOF Executive Director Richard Harker and Director of Capital Projects Neale Nickels update us on…

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Visitor Center Construction Update: November 2023

HOF Executive Director Richard Harker and Director of Capital Projects Neale Nickels update us on…

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Going Greener at Oakland

“Historic cemetery” and “environmental sustainability” may not often go together in many folk’s minds, but…

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