One of the most eagerly anticipated events of the holiday season in Atlanta, Historic Grant Park’s Candlelight Tour of Homes first began in 1980 as a benefit for a pioneering community daycare center. Over the years, the tour has grown into a fundraiser for three cherished community organizations: St. Paul United Methodist Church, the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool, and the Grant Park Parent’s Network

The Candlelight Tour traditionally takes place on the second weekend in December. It provides an intimate and charming way to experience both the past and present of the historic Grant Park neighborhood. And you’ll soon realize that “Candlelight Tour” isn’t just a slogan as it enchants you with the warm glow of candles and holiday lights at every stop. It’s a delightful way to experience the Grant Park Neighborhood!

Founded by Col. Lemuel P.Grant in 1885, Grant Park consists mainly of original Victorian, Queen Anne, and Craftsman homes constructed between 1885-1910. 

The Grant Park story is one of urban decay and renewal. The neighborhood suffered a catastrophic decline after the construction of Interstate 20 during the early 1960s, which required the demolition of over 300 homes and businesses and divided the community North and South. 

A restoration trend began in the 1970s and gathered momentum in the 80s. In 1979, the National Regist placed a portion of the neighborhood south of Interstate 20 on its National Register of Historic Places, which later expanded north of Interstate 20 in 1986. As the community rebounded into the 1990s, demolition of older homes mostly stopped, and many large houses once subdivided into apartments were restored to single-family use. 

In 2000, the Grant Park neighborhood became Atlanta’s largest Historic District, bringing additional zoning protections, incentives for historically sensitive renovations, and the requirement that new construction conforms to the character of the old neighborhood.