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Architecture, good and bad

The good, the good

  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street at 10th street.  Nice map.  Here is an unfavorable review but I'm afraid the reviewer must not pass this building very often.  But at least he has an opinion.  I like it more every day, calm, stately, and not a skyscraper.  The real shame is that Midtown was formerly a human scaled commercial and residential area.  If left alone it would have been Atlanta's premier entertainment district.  You can find a hint on Juniper and Crescent and at 10th and Piedmont.  Nobody "hangs" around skyscrapers.
  • Georgia Pacific Tower by Dylan LeblancThe Georgia Pacific Building, 133 Peachtree Street, is one of Atlanta's new skyscrapers.  It has a beautiful orange colored stone exterior, a trapezoidal footprint, and strange setbacks on the east side.  My eye can never quite figure it out.  Approaching from the south on the interstate it's the building that catches my eye. (Drawing of the Georgia Pacific Building by Dylan Leblanc from
  • The trio of 1 Atlantic Center (IBM Building), the Promenade Two (ATT Building), and GLG Grand in Midtown.  Atlanta Center and GLG Grand are classic looking buildings.  Promenade Two is a modern black glass curtain wall building but the top is a very prominent step pyramid with some sort of filigreed detail.  I liked it from day one.  What I like best is the silhouette of these three from various vantage points around the city:  Driving past the CDC on Clifton Road you'll see the silhouette about three miles away.
  • The interior of the rotunda at Coca-Cola World Headquarters on North Avenue.  Outside, I'm ambivalent.  Inside, it takes my breath away.

The horror, the horror

These are awful.  I hate them every time a I see them.

  • The Peachtree Street facade of the 191 Peachtree Building.  None of the web photos show it.  The beautiful old Macy's building is across the street.  Walk on the Macy's side and look at your own risk.
  • The Atlanta Financial Center may be great inside but it's just horrible from every angle.  It's the building you drive under on Georgia Highway 400.  Black glass curtain walls blur any sense of shape.  Maybe that's a good thing.
  • Woodruff Park (Central City Park) at Five Points downtown.  It has never worked, they've redesigned it three times, the fountain never works.  You just don't feel right when you are there.  They tore down a large block of nice old human-scaled downtown buildings to make room for the park. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time but I wish they hadn't.
  • Centennial Olympic Park is on the west side of downtown.  Don't get me wrong, it's great to have a park there but this just doesn't look like or feel like a park.
  • Downtown Decatur is one of my favorite city centers.  The horror is thinking about what it might have been.  On top of the hill is the elegant old Dekalb County Courthouse.  To the north and east is the human scaled downtown of a small American city, a nice place today.  But to the east and south are horrible "modern" government buildings.  I wasn't around before they built these buildings.  I believe they forever ruined what might now be the most charming and human friendly place in greater Atlanta.

The links, the links
(last updated on
January 26, 2003)