The first episode of The Walking Dead features scenes filmed in Atlanta's oldest park and the surrounding neighborhood, Grant Park. Along with the Atlanta Zoo, Grant Park features some of the city's oldest Victorian architecture. It is also one of the neighborhoods transformed by the Eastside gentrification of Atlanta, which can be seen as either fantastic or devastating, depending on your skin color and socioeconomic status.
After leaving the hospital, Rick wanders into post-apocalyptic Grant Park on Berne Street, near the Grant Park community swimming pool. This house pictured below can be seen in the background of this scene. Also in the photo below, you can check out my city-hipster Fiat; I'm too old to be a hipster, but the Fiat gets excellent gas mileage, is easy to maneuver through the city streets, and there is no way in hell I'm driving a moped.
NOTE: the above photo of Berne Street does NOT feature a zombie by my city-hipster Fiat; it is just an old man out for an evening jog.
Across the street from the Berne Street house, Rick encounters a bicycle, and what has become known as "bicycle girl," here in the actual park part of the neighborhood.
Since bicycle girl's body stopped mid torso, she did't have much use for her bike, and Rick didn't feel very bad about stealing it. He used it to take a very awkward ride to his house, where he stopped in to look for Lori and Carl, and to let the shock and grief of the apocalypse sink in.
Fun fact: the sunbeam design featured above the window at the top left of the house, and in the house number plaque above the front door, is part of Grant Park's neighborhood logo.
After reemerging from his former home, Rick stops on the front steps and waves timidly at what he assumes to be a person.
Rick is then smacked on the head with a shovel by Duane, Morgan's son. In his post-shovel smack stupor, Rick calls Duane Carl, and then witnesses Morgan shoot what Rick believes is the person he'd waved at.
Down the street and around the corner from Rick's house is the home where Morgan and Duane have taken up residence.
From inside the house, and through the boarded up windows, Rick and Morgan watch the walkers mill around at the corner of Ormond and Rawlins.
Grant Park is filled with lovely homes, history, and affluence. However, there is also this one house on the corner between Rick's house and Morgan's house.
The first episode of The Walking Dead was filmed here more than five years ago. The houses used in the filming have been cleaned up and improved since the show started airing. This corner house, though, has all of the windows blocked with bits of paper and cardboard with fire and brimstone written all over them.
There are also signs on the porch screens, the fence, and the gate at the side of the house. In psychological terms, this would be referred to as "paranoid schizophrenia."
The signs are warning off evil, and announcing that Jesus is protecting this particular house.
I cannot help wondering if this house had all of these signs all over it in the years before a rendering of the zombie apocalypse was filmed on this block. Did the person who lives here believe the zombies were real, and get the shit scared out of them as a result? I will never know, since as soon as I heard shuffling around in the house as I was taking photos, I ran away (that's why the pic of the front of the house is a little blurry).
There was a definite eerie vibe in the neighborhood, though. That house on the corner did absolutely nothing to dispel the notion that perhaps The Walking Dead may be more of an intimation of things to come than a simple fictional horror story created to entertain the living.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this Atlanta Proxifan post. Another HUGE shoutout to WalkingDeadLocations.com, (and on Twitter) without whom my job would be much more difficult when covering The Walking Dead locations. I would also like to give another shoutout to The Walking Dead Ultimate Fanatics, (also on Twitter) who have been full of information, and very helpful in distributing my posts on this particular subject.
As always, feel free to suggest filming locations around Atlanta you are interested in seeing me cover, even if they are not about The Walking Dead. If you are here for the Walking Dead, you might want to follow my profile here, as there is A LOT more TWD to come.