From the Archives
Rare color footage of Peachtree Street recorded in 1939.
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.
We are very pleased to share the news that the Atlanta History Center’s Donald R. Rooney is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries (GAMG).
Don is recognized for contributions to the museum field that extend far beyond any one neighborhood, any one institution, and any one organization – he is honored for his long and unselfish contributions to the field. Don’s award acknowledges his commitment to history, historic preservation, and museums for over thirty years serving the city, state, region and the nation.
Over the years, Don has been an integral part in the growth of the Atlanta History Center, adding significantly to its rich collections and curating many of its outstanding exhibitions. As the curator of the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, he sifted through nearly 6,000 artifacts to select those for the exhibition commemorating the games.
In addition, Don has written numerous National Register nominations and served as a notable member of the Atlanta Urban Design Commission. Don has shared his knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm with the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries for decades and has been involved in the Southeastern Museum Conference (SEMC) and the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).
Don has also spent years teaching students in Georgia State University’s Heritage Preservation Program, introducing hundreds of graduate students to his process of creating storylines and designs to plan and implement engaging exhibitions. Through an innovative collaboration with different venues, such as the Sam Nunn Federal Building and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the students have gained invaluable practical experience and the venues have presented exhibitions to city residents and international travelers.
We all thank Don for his dedicated service to the Atlanta History Center, appreciate him for his commitment to the museum field, and congratulate him on receiving this distinguished award from his peers.