Joel Hurt introduced electric streetcar service to Atlanta in August of 1889. His Atlanta and Edgewood Street Railroad Company conducted service along the newly improved Edgewood Avenue (formerly Foster Street) that connected downtown with Atlanta’s eastern edge. Hurts’ East Atlanta Land Company was the primary financer for the creation and improvements to Edgewood Avenue that would later include the rail service, totaling over $100,000. The creation of the new, tree-lined avenue resulted in the demolition of approximately 94 framed dwellings totaling around $80,000 in value, and required 30 condemnations by the city (Beard 1979:201).
Even the rails and streetcars of the Edgewood Avenue line reflected the opulent environment Hurt envisioned for the area. Not only was the cars’ means of traction innovative, they featured oak interiors and plate glass windows valued at $4,000. The steel rails were gauges heavier than those employed on the Georgia Railroad just south of the route. These rails were elevated on stone piers and surrounded by paving comprised of Belgian block (Beard 1979:202). However, the streetcar route was only a fraction of the development devised by Hurt. Edgewood Avenue only served as a link between downtown and Inman Park, Hurt’s garden suburb development.