This is the second spotlight in my series of photographs of Atlanta Icons, while the first focused on Restaurants, this one will is all the rest of the Atlanta area scenery that I captured in pictures while working on this body of work. In particular, this spotlight looks at Atlanta Architecture.
In my opinion, this picture shows a couple of the most recognizable buildings in Atlanta, familiar to any commuter on the north side of the City. These towers, officially Concourse Corporate Center V and VI, are known to the locals as the King and Queen towers due to the stylized decorations at the pinnacles of each building. These buildings are located in Sandy Springs just north of I-285 and east of Georgia 400. They were completed in 1988 and 1991 and have the distinction of being the tallest towers in a suburban setting in the USA. This photo captures them against a vibrant winter sky just before dusk.
There’s a joke that every street in Atlanta has the word “Peachtree” in it. And it’s no joke that there are a lot of Peachtree courts, and avenues, and boulevards named for Georgia’s official fruit, but there’s only one Peachtree Street and only one Fabulous Fox. And pictured here is the great vintage sign for the Fabulous Fox! The Fox Theater was one of several old movie houses in the city and one of the last of the grand ones left. It opened in the 1920’s and came close to being destroyed in the 1970’s. But the local populace, having watched one movie palace after another razed, fought to save the Fox for future generations to enjoy and (in my case) photograph on multiple occasions.
And one photo of this old dear on Peachtree was not enough! This picture was taken on my last roam through Atlanta before leaving in 2009, so it holds a special place at the end of this series. The photo was taken with a fisheye lens, which allows you to really take in the full street scene and almost feel as if you’re standing there right in front of the grand marquee for the Fabulous Fox.
Pictured here is the Roxy Theater in the Buckhead neighborhood in Atlanta. The Roxy started life as the Buckhead Theater in 1930, so it’s a bit younger than the Fox, but in that same general age range. It, however, was built for movies with their own soundtracks rather than subtitles and organ music. It changed names a few times over the years and eventually settled into life in the Buckhead Bar district that grew up around it, becoming a venue for live music. The city eventually squashed the bar scene in Buckhead when the headlines around it became a bit too big. My photo was taken while the Roxy was still in business for live music, but The last I heard this old theater was being renovated and possibly redeveloped for other uses.
I’m not sure if everyone would put this hotel into the icon category, but for me the title fits. Pictured here is the rooftop lounge at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency Hotel. It’s been diminished by the buildings surrounding it, but when it was built, this space age restaurant sat at the top of Atlanta’s skyline and its said that it was the place to go for noon meetings. The building was designed by John Portman, and this modernist gem features the first use of a full atrium in a hotel – a now common feature of hotels all over the world. Much of Atlanta’s modernist architecture has met with the wrecking ball, but one hopes the Hyatt will stick around.
Atlanta has a pretty long history of supporting the arts. What we know today as the High Museum began life in 1905 as The Atlanta Art Association. It came to be known as the High when the High family donated their home on Peachtree Street to house the growing collection in 1926. It’s changed a lot since and continues to evolve. The current modern buildings began in 1983 and were expanded upon in 2002. The High continues to be one of the leading museums of the Southeastern US having a diverse and growing collection as well as working with museums around the world to bring temporary exhibitions to the people of Atlanta, Georgia. As pictured here, one gets a real strong feel of the ultra modern architecture that makes the High stand out so on Peachtree Street!
If you enjoyed these Atlanta architecture prints, please be sure to check out my Atlanta gallery. For part one of this spotlight series, please check out Atlanta Icons – Let’s Eat.