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The Future Is Today – Classic Atlanta Skyline Print


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The old Polaris lounge is simply a fun mid-century piece of modernist design. Pictured here is a night-time view of that classic restaurant atop the Atlanta Hyatt Regency. This trendsetting Atlanta hotel, designed by John Portman, in 1967 was the first to feature an atrium in the middle of the hotel. This interior design is now a common feature of larger hotel buildings around the world.

In its early years, the Polaris Lounge was a rooftop restaurant which sat atop the new city skyline and commanded a view across the whole city. I’ve heard it mentioned often that in its heyday, the Polaris atop the Hyatt was the place to be seen for noon-time meetings in Atlanta.

Today the skyline of Atlanta has changed a lot.  The Hyatt Polaris Lounge no longer commands such an impressive view. In this night time photo you get a taste of the taller skyscrapers that now surround the old Hyatt. Yet this gem of modernist architecture (one of a few surviving examples in Atlanta) still reminds us of a time when the future was boundless and full of flying saucers!

I suppose architecture has rightly moved on in the decades since the Polaris sat atop the Atlanta skyline, but I have a soft spot for the enthusiastic architecture of the future that seemed to flourish back then. Today it just has a fun retro-cool quality that still speaks to many of us.

This city-lights view of Atlanta has been one of my more popular prints from my time in the city. I’m glad to know it speaks to others. I’m guessing primarily residents and former residents who also had their eyes on the skyline. Or perhaps people in general who love old modernist architecture.  Into which camp do you fall?


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