By Joji Castillo – Alpharetta Managing Editor
Where in Atlanta can you find goats, roosters, organic gardens, local music, and art happenings mixed in with film and photo shoots?
The Goat Farm, built in 1889 by New Jersey industrialist Edward Van Winkle, was originally a cotton-gin factory. The Murray Company of Texas later bought it out in 1912.
During World War II this facility made ammunition and mortars for the war. At its peak there were a little more than 15 buildings in the whole complex.
Development of a new condominium complex or subdivision seemed to be the next step after founder Robert Haywood’s passing, but the complete opposite happened due to its prime in-town location. Hallister Development, which specializes in renovating historic properties, purchased the Goat Farm.
“Our plans for the property are to use it to push culture forward through comprehensive support of the arts,” Anthony Harper, a partner at Hallister Development, said.
Within the past year, the Goat Farm has been host to many events that have been pushing culture forward. In August of last year, there was a big and very hot “Nameless” Music festival. There were 14-plus local bands who played a free festival just to get unknown music more attention.
Another event “Chromatic”, a tribute to color, was a chance for graphic designers of Atlanta to show off their digitally rendered art.
A more recent event thrown by the dance group gloAtlanta, featured Atlanta’s best interpretive dance. Mark Dinatale, co-owner/manager of Fresh Roots Farm on the Goat Farm described it as “like no other dancing I’ve ever seen.”
Dinatale not only farms, but works at “the Warhorse”, a donation only coffee shop in the Goat Farm. “We only except donations, because the Goat farm is Non-Profit,” he said.
Another coffee shop employee Justin Newton, whose band, This Piano Plays Itself, rents space at the Farm said “everybody of all walks of life are here at the Goat Farm….you can see pretty much anything and everything within its 12 acre radius.”
The Goat Farm enjoys the reputation as Atlanta’s best kept secret. Finding out about events at the goat farm is pretty much word of mouth/flyers in Atlanta coffee shops, and every once in a while there will be something posted online about events.