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Heritage Village @ West Lake site occupies a significant place in Atlanta’s history

Heritage Village @ West Lake is a prime location for something in Atlanta. An oasis nestled in a once rich and vibrant community. The redevelopment and preservation of this gem will be the catalyst for economic and community development that this Westside community needs and deserves. Heritage allows community rebuilding to start with the most vulnerable, hard to reach and lower-income populations.


Originally built as the Waluhaje Hotel in 1951 by Walter Aikens as an apartment and hotel complex serving Atlanta’s development post-war Westside, the complex gained notoriety for its ballroom which hosted many of the top jazz performers of the era.

Atlanta developer Walter H. "Chief" Aiken opened the Waluhaje Hotel Apartment building on West Lake Avenue in northwest Atlanta in 1951. The name Waluhaje came from combing the first two letters of the names of Mr. Aikens (Walter), his wife (Lucy), and two of her siblings (Hazel and Jefferson). Mr. Aiken's estate, nearby on Simpson Road, was also known as Waluhaje. Upon the death of Mrs. Aikens in 1992, the house was willed to Clark Atlanta University, for use as their Alumni Conference Center.

After Aikens sold the property in 1967, Job Corps moved in 1969 and began providing residential educational and vocational training at the site until closing in 2017.

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