Revisiting Atlanta’s Architecture: Ten Peachtree Place

Atlanta is a city often accused of forgetting its past. Indeed, as progress plows ahead and the heart of the city bustles with new development, older buildings are cast aside as worthless, either replaced by or surrounded by monotonous, anonymous gleaming glass towers. Recently, the tide has begun to shift, with notable preservation successes thanks to public support, including the Bell Building, the Forsyth-Walton Building and the Trio Laundry, as well as the creation of the Means Street Landmark District and the naming of the former Trust Company Bank Monroe branch as a landmark.

Inspired by the near loss of Breuer’s Central Library (and real loss of countless other buildings), this new 12-part series seeks to highlight buildings Atlantans have resigned to irrelevancy without a second thought. As we look back on the losses of the Loew’s Grand Theatre, the Piedmont Hotel, the original Equitable Building, Terminal Station, and several other smaller, yet no-less-important buildings, we learn that demolition of historic fabric is a loss to our city.

If we can pull these buildings out of the sea of background architecture, and recognize their unique merits and appreciate the nuanced designs that brought them into existence, the city will be able to better appreciate the wealth of buildings that make the urban realm a vibrant, rich, diverse and interesting place to inhabit.

Architecture and consumer products

Michael Graves, Target Toaster — white, 1989. (Courtesy Michael Graves Architecture & Design.)

Any avid Target shopper is sure to have heard of Michael Graves — his name adorns kitchenware spanning from tea kettles to toasters. But before he became well-known for designing consumer goods, Michael Graves rose to prominence as an architect, and like most prominent practitioners of postmodernism, his buildings became distinctive statements in cities across the country known for their use of crazy imagery and geometry.

One of his…

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