Brief Synopsis

The Wachendorff Nurseries were formed in the mid 1800’s by Edward Wachendorff, a German immigrant who came to the South during Reconstruction. Under him, the nursery grew to one of the largest in the southeast, and its plants provided the namesake of historic Vine City. In this episode, we explore the still standing home of the Wachendorff family through an interview with Mr. James Arpad, the current owner of the house, as he takes us through the building’s past and his dreams for its future. The Wachendorff Estate goes beyond just the home though, leading us to explore how the property of the estate has developed with Atlanta’s expansion. We speak to Mr. Rodney Cook Jr and Ms. Samantha Wright of the Millennium Gate Foundation to learn more about the development of Cook Park on the land which once belonged to the nursery, and the complex tale which has led to its present state. As Atlanta has grown, the neighborhood that has developed on the fertile lands of the former nursery has become historic Vine City. We also speak with Ms. Makeda Johnson, as we explore how the story of Wachendorff Estate has transitioned into the story of Vine City, and learn more about the journey of the proud people who now call this neighborhood home.


The Building Memories team work together in developing, producing, and promoting episodes, and in presenting them on the Building Memories website.

Executive Producer: Jacqueline Jones Royster
Technical Director: Steven Hodges
Interns: Charles Cardot, Rachel Hu, Amrithesh Paravath
Administrative Assistant: Joanna Gabriel

Team members below had lead roles with this episode:
Episode Narrative: Charles Cardot
Photographer: Charles Cardot
Podcast Producer: Charles Cardot, Rachel Hu
Interviewers: Jacqueline Jones Royster, Todd Michney, Rachel Hu, Charles Cardot, Amrithesh Paravath
Script Writer: Charles Cardot
Narrators: Todd Michney, Charles Cardot
Sound Editors: Rachel Hu, Charles Cardot

Special thanks in this episode go to: The National Monuments Foundation, the Vine City Affordable Housing Holding LLC, and the Vine City Civic Association