An otherwise ordinary railroad trestle in Athens, Georgia that should have been destroyed decades ago has become an important landmark and tourist attraction thanks to being featured on the back cover of the 1983 R.E.M. album “Murmur”. The once kudzu-covered trestle has been acknowledged by Athens as an important landmark worthy of preservation, and millions of dollars have been spent to insure it will stand for future generations.
Because R.E.M. has reached international fame and are considered one of Athens’ greatest exports, anything they have touched is considered worthy of preservation to their fans. In order to keep a small part of their legacy alive, a movement was started to save the trestle and the people of Athens and a legion of fans donated the money needed to purchase the land back from developers with intentions of doing what developers do, develop the property.
The trestle is located in Dudley Park on the northeast side of the city, just off of Athens Perimeter Hwy exit 8. On October 2, 2000 the town of Athens voted to save the trestle as an attraction for future generations.