Hapeville is also home to Delta Air Lines, Inc. Corporate Headquarters and the Delta Flight Museum. Since 1995, the Delta Flight Museum has opened its doors to visitors from around the world. The museum is located in Delta’s original 1940s-era aircraft hangar. Flight enthusiasts and historians alike will enjoy learning about aviation history and celebrating Delta’s story within the 68,000-square-foot hangar. In 2011, the attraction was designated a Historic Aerospace Site.
If visitors prefer trains to planes, the Hapeville Depot Museum is just a short ride away. Located in what used to be an 1890 train depot, the Hapeville Depot Museum stores much of Hapeville’s history. In 1981, Hapeville city made the west freight room and two offices on the west side of the Depot available to the Hapeville Historical Society. Shortly after, the Depot Restoration Committee and the Historical Society combined to further develop the Depot Museum. The Depot Museum has a number of exhibits showcasing photographs, railroad memorabilia, antiques, and even classic cars.
Speaking of cars, since opening in 2015, the Porsche Experience Center has welcomed more than 250,000 visitors and invited them to take a self-guided tour of Porsche’s history via its Heritage Gallery. The Heritage Gallery consists of two levels of vehicle displays and changing exhibits. The main floor of the Gallery showcases vehicles from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart and from private owners throughout the United States. The Porsche brand has a long history dating back to 1948 when the first Porsche vehicle was registered.
A mere 20 years after the first Porsche was registered, Mrs. Coretta Scott King established The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change also known as the King Center. Since 1968, the King Center has been a global destination, resource center, and community institution. Close to a million people visit the Center every year to learn about and pay homage to Dr. King’s legacy. The King Center is both a traditional memorial and a nonprofit that emphasizes six principles of nonviolence.
With its ties to Dr. King, Ebenezer Baptist Church attracts many to its doors. Martin Luther King, Jr. was co-pastor at Ebenezer Baptist until his death in 1968. His funeral was also held at the church. However, the Church’s history precedes Dr. King. Since its founding in 1886, Ebenezer Baptist Church has served as a “spiritual home” to many. A faithful thirteen people were the first congregation to worship under Rev. John A. Parker–Ebenezer’s first pastor–from 1886 to 1894. Despite struggling for a few years and moving locations a handful of times, the church flourished to a congregation of more than 6,000 church-goers today.
Madam C.J. Walker was a pioneer entrepreneur and propelled the Civil Rights Movement by contributing to black businesses. Yet, the history of the Madam Museum itself is fascinating. Ricci de Forest drove by a retail space bearing the name “Mme. C. J. Walker’s Beauty Shoppe” on the window. Soon after, he found himself occupying the store which still held several beauty tools belonging to Madam C.J. Walker herself. By happenstance, Ricci found out two years later that WERD radio station–the first black owned radio station–had been in a nearby location. Since these discoveries, Ricci has dedicated himself to preserving and honoring the legacy of Madam C.J. Walker and WERD by creating the Madam Museum in his beauty shop.
The Wren’s Nest is the home of Joel Chandler Harris, an American journalist, fiction writer, and folklorist. Nowadays The Wren’s Nest, a cultural center, promotes literacy and celebrates the heritage of African and Indigenous folklore through the art of storytelling in all of its contemporary forms, including student publishing, concerts, events, tours, and a free children’s book program.
The ATL Airport District and the surrounding area are teeming with historical sites, attractions, and more-like The Triumph Museum, The Center for Civil and Human Rights, Woodward Academy, The Old Campbell County Museum, Atlanta History Center, The Carter Presidential Library, etc.- that preserve the District’s history. Next time you feel like going on a tour through living history, just head on over to the ATL Airport District!