Krog Street Tunnel

Atlanta, Georgia

Graffiti might not be legal in Atlanta, but for some reason, in the Krog Street Tunnel, it is.

Krog Street Tunnel 4
- Travis Leech

Discovering the Krog Street Tunnel

In the neighbourhoods of Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown, and Inman Park, lies a colourful cultural landmark: the Krog Street Tunnel. Built in 1913, this historic tunnel links communities and is a canvas for artistic expression. Inside you can see everything from large political imagery and intricate tags to resident announcements, event listings, and even personal messages.

But the landmark isn’t just a place visited by budding street artists—many admirers come down to the tunnel to watch it change. As more and more street art is added to the walls, reflecting the shifting artistic dialogue and perspectives of the Atlanta community, it will look different every time.

Visiting the tunnel is easy, with nearby street parking and free access. As the colours and messages on the walls change, so too does the landscape—-you might just stumble into the scene of a marriage proposal, celebration of some kind or political debate! So keep your eyes peeled!

Krog Street Tunnel 6
- Geoff Livingston

Beginnings of Krog Street Tunnel

In the late 1800s the Krog Street Tunnel area was an industrial roadway in the Inman Park neighbourhood. Named after Frederick Krog, the corridor housed the Atlanta Stove Works factory, now known as Krog Street Market, and attracted other factories and storefronts due to its proximity to railroad lines and downtown Atlanta. The area witnessed a surge in demand for working-class housing as factory employment grew, shaping the character of Inman Park and the Cabbagetown neighbourhood.

In 1912, responding to the growing need for connectivity between Inman Park and Cabbagetown, which was separated by the railway line, CSX constructed an underpass linking Dekalb Avenue and Wylie Street. This tunnel, which remains the sole direct route between the two neighbourhoods for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians, became vital for the local workforce and community.

Krog Street Tunnel 1
- Daniel Lobo

Decline in use of Krog Street Tunnel

The closure of the Fulton Cotton Mill and Atlanta Stove Works in the late 20th century triggered economic decline in the area, a widespread challenge in Atlanta at the time. However, amidst this decline, the Krog Street Tunnel, no longer a vital link to transport the working class to their employment, became a blank canvas waiting to be filled.

Graffiti in Krog Street Tunnel: Origin Story

Over decades, attitudes towards graffiti in the tunnel evolved. Initially viewed with disdain and associated with criminal activity, graffiti eventually gained acceptance as a form of creative expression.

In the early 2000s, neighbourhood officials tacitly allowed graffiti in the tunnel, leading to its transformation into one of the most renowned legal graffiti walls in the United States. Today visitors can see all manner of graffiti art including large landmark murals and tiny tags that challenge the status quo.

Krog Street Tunnel 5
- Josh Hallett

Overcoming Challenges

However, the relationship between the community and the Krog Street Tunnel, after its main function as a thoroughfare, has not been without its challenges. In 2014, a dispute arose over a private event planned in the tunnel. Protests were staged and the graffiti art was temporarily erased. The incident highlighted issues between artistic freedom, community engagement, and property rights.

Despite occasional conflicts and the fact that graffiti remains illegal under city ordinances, organisations like the Atlanta BeltLine work to preserve graffiti culture. This is accomplished by offering designated spaces for artists to practise their craft, such as the Krog Street Tunnel.

Krog Street Tunnel
- Lee Coursey

Reasons to Visit Krog Street Tunnel

  • Free Art and Local Creativity: The colourful murals are really diverse and very interesting, telling the tales their artists wish them to convey. No two visits are the same with the constant changing patterns and installations, so you can keep going back and never get bored!
  • Photo Opportunities: The Krog Street Tunnel can act as the perfect backdrop for all your photography desires. Professional photographers bring their clients here for wedding and engagement shoots and children make a school project out of the whimsical colours and designs also. Be prepared to encounter impromptu photo shoots or music videos being filmed during your visit.
  • Stay Informed: Stay up-to-date with the latest happenings in Atlanta's music and arts scene as you stroll through the tunnel. The walls are not only marked with graffiti but with posters and announcements for upcoming shows, festivals, and races in the area.
  • Leave Your Mark: Embrace your inner artist and contribute to the ever-changing scene of Krog Street Tunnel. It doesn’t matter whether you're a seasoned painter or a novice doodler, you won’t be able to resist making your own mark on its walls.
  • Make Memorable Announcements: Looking for a unique way to make a special announcement to the city? Krog Street Tunnel provides the perfect setting to share important messages with the community. It could be a birthday celebration, a milestone event, or even a marriage proposal, but whatever it may be nothing says Atlanta like this cultural landmark.
Krog Street Tunnel 3
- Josh Hallett

Visiting Inman Park from the Krog Street Tunnel

Extend your visit by continuing on towards Inman Park, conveniently accessible through Krog Street Tunnel. Explore the Krog Street Market, trendy boutiques, boujee cafes, bakeries, historical landmarks, and surrounding architecture. Visitors can also go for a stroll along the Atlanta BeltLine, enjoying other cultural hotspots along the way such as the Trap Music Museum or Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

Krog Street Tunnel 2
- Daniel Lobo

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Krog Street Tunnel Questions


What you need to know

Krog Street Tunnel
1 Krog St NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
33.754532, -84.364029
Tips before you visit

Make sure you walk or bike through the tunnel. Car access is allowed but you get a better appreciation for the art work on foot.