Pictured McNair High School
DeKalb County’s McNair Cluster is an area defined by its school district. It consists of mainly residential neighborhoods and is located just southeast of Atlanta. The boundary is roughly by Glenwood Avenue to the north, Moreland Avenue to the west, I-285 to the south, and the Candler Road businesses district to the east. The area first saw large-scale development in the 1950’s with many small single-family homes built during the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
In the 80's
Many African Americans migrated to the McNair Cluster in the mid-1960s, largely arriving from the Atlanta neighborhoods of East Atlanta and Kirkwood. Over the past two decades, the neighborhood saw major change due to the transformation of public housing in the City of Atlanta and the collapse of the housing market.
NOW in the 2000's
Today, the cluster continues to undergo transition with many diverse residents coming into the cluster particularly from Decatur, as well as, the Kirkwood and Edgewood neighborhoods of Atlanta.
The McNair Cluster is home to several active neighborhood organizations, schools, and religious institutions that have realized the will to work collaboratively with one another. They have played major roles in community responses to recent challenges, such as, the housing crisis and school closings. In addition to these institutional assets, there are many underused community spaces that can potentially serve as locations for events to drive positive neighborhood change.
More than other institutions, local public schools are an anchor for community revitalization in the McNair Cluster because of their unique connection to the cluster. In addition to educating students, schools employ residents, connect neighbors with one another, impact housing markets, and influence McNair’s aesthetic character. They provide access to First Baptist Church Gresham Road with many local resources, such as, political good will, funding and land. All the forehand mentioned community assets have a foundational position in the McNair Cluster’s ongoing Quality-of-Life Planning process with neighborhood leaders and other stakeholders playing major roles. Creative agile collaborations are among concerned residents, private businesses, government and community groups. Based on these existing assets, the community will be essential to moving the McNair Cluster forward and supporting community revitalization and change.