Five (More) Beautiful Buildings Atlanta Destroyed
Fulton County Courthouse
Built in 1881 at the corner of Hunter Street (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive) and Pryor Street, the county’s second courthouse building was designed by the architectural firm of Perkins & Bruce. It was demolished in 1911 to make way for a new courthouse at the same location.
Located on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, the Howard Theater opened December 13, 1920. It was designed by the architectural firm of Hentz, Reid & Adler and decorated by W. E. Browne. In 1930, the name changed to the Paramount Theater. The building was demolished in 1960 and replaced with a building which was also demolished. Today the site is empty.
The Peachtree Arcade, Atlanta’s first enclosed shopping mall, was designed by A. Ten Eyck Brown and was completed in 1917. It featured Beaux-Arts style facades that opened onto both Peachtree and Broad Streets. Inside, the building featured a three-tiered corridor of shops covered by an iron and glass ceiling. The building was demolished in 1964 to make way for the First National Bank of Atlanta (now the State of Georgia Building).
Grand Opera House
The Grand Opera House was built on Peachtree Street in 1893 by Laurent DeGive as a larger and more elaborate successor to the DeGive Opera House located on the corner of Marietta and Forsyth Streets. The Grand came under the management of Marcus Loew’s Theater organization in 1916. In 1932, in order to compete with movie theaters, the Loew’s Grand Theater was renovated by architect Thomas W. Lamb. The one screen theater had 2088 seats. The theater was the site of the movie premiere of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind in 1939. The theater closed in 1977 and caught fire January 30, 1978. The damage led to the demolition of the historic venue. The Georgia-Pacific Tower occupies the site today.
1895 Cotton States and International Exposition Buildings
The Cotton States and International Exposition was an event that took place during the fall of 1895 in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. The Exposition was meant to foster trade between southern states and South American nations and to exhibit the resources of the region to the world. Most of the buildings constructed for the exposition were meant to be temporary and were demolished after the exposition concluded and sold for scrap. In 1904, the city of Atlanta purchased Piedmont Park from the Piedmont Park Exposition Company and extended the city limits north to include the park.
Five Beautiful Buildings Atlanta Destroyed
Atlanta has an unfortunate tendency to pave over her history in the name of progress. Because of this tendency, we’ve lost some truly remarkable structures. We wanted to take a look back at some of those losses, so we decided to ask Atlanta History Center staff members to name five of Atlanta’s most significant casualties.
Atlanta Terminal Station
Located on Spring Street, Atlanta’s Terminal Station was designed by P. Thornton Marye, whose firm also designed the Fox Theater. Completed in 1905, the Beaux-Arts style reinforced concrete structure was razed in 1971. A portion of the site is now occupied by the Richard B. Russell Federal Building.
Atlanta’s Equitable Building was designed by John Wellborn Root and was completed in 1892. Built in the Chicago School style, it was considered Atlanta’s first skyscraper. Located on Edgewood Avenue, the structure was demolished in 1971 because some felt it blocked the view of the new Trust Company building constructed nearby.
The Second Kimball House
After the first Kimball House burned in 1883, a second Kimball House opened for business on New Year’s Day in 1885. Located on the south-southeast corner of Five Points, the impressive structure was demolished in 1959 to make way for a parking deck which still stands.
U.S. Customs House
Located on Marietta Street, Atlanta’s U.S. Post Office and Customs House opened in 1878. The structure was used as Atlanta City Hall from 1911 to 1930 when it was demolished.
Located on Peachtree Street, the Piedmont Hotel was built in 1903. Designed by W. F. Denny, architect of Rhodes Hall and the Kriegshaber House (now Wrecking Ball Brewpub), the hotel was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Equitable Building.
To celebrate Halloween, we combed through the archives searching for Atlanta’s spookiest mansions. Sadly, none of the houses remain standing today.
Houses in order of appearance:
George L. King House - Undated
Georgia Governor’s Mansion - c. 1905
William R. Hill House - c. 1878
Dr. John R. Hopkins House - c. 1920
Benjamin F. Abbott House - c. 1895
Mrs. Augustus M. Robinson House - c. 1895
1960s view of the Trust Company of Georgia building on Monroe Drive. Designed by Atlanta’s own Henri Jova, the building was featured in TIME magazine shorty after construction. It was places on the Atlanta Preservation Center’s endangered list in 2003 and 2009.
Governor’s Mansions in Atlanta
In 1870, the state purchased the John James residence at the corner of Peachtree and Cain Streets for use as the Governor’s residence (top). The grand Victorian mansion was demolished in 1923. In 1925, the state acquired the home of Edwin Ansley, located at The Prado in Ansley Park (middle). The mansion was demolished in 1968. The current Governor’s Mansion, completed in 1968, is located at 391 West Paces Ferry Road (bottom).