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The granite steps and Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park are the only things that still remain from the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition. The exposition lasted 15 weeks in September 1895 and saw nearly a million attendees. The exposition buildings were temporary structures that were taken down after the fair, but the stone balustrades scattered around the park once held steps leading to the major building built for the exposition.
In 1909, the city of Atlanta wanted to transform the former fairgrounds into a park and enlisted the Olmsted Brothers, landscape architects (and sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, of Central Park fame), to design what would become Piedmont Park.