One Atlantic Center

Formerly: IBM Tower

The tallest building in Atlanta when it opened in 1987, One Atlantic Center ushered in a new wave of high-quality architecture and development in the Midtown area of Atlanta. The post-modern design by Philip Johnson features “Rosa Porino” (Spanish Pink) granite, classical details and a gold capped, copper pyramidal top. The location is visible from many parts of the city and the site features a 2 1/2 acre landscaped park with fountains.

Quick Facts:

  • Construction start: 1986
  • Construction finish: 1987
  • Designed by: Philip Johnson
  • Stories: 50
  • Maximum Height: 820 feet / 250 meters

One Atlantic Center definitely defines the character of Midtown Atlanta and is one of the most impressive and best-looking in the city. Still, after some 30 years in the business, the building is amazing and sets the standard for Atlanta and the southeastern US.

Bank of America Plaza

Formerly: NationsBank Plaza, C&S Plaza

Atlanta often bills itself the “Capital of the New South.” Bank of America Plaza certainly backs up that claim. It is an immense structure rising over the city. It’s imposing presence, accentuated also by its exterior dark color, goes way up into the Atlanta sky with its vertical lines reinforcing the structure’s height while, at the same time, that creates an abundance of corner offices that generate the required revenue. See also this article about concerts and shows in Atlanta. This is basically a contemporary interpretation of Art Deco themes that we also find in the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, though that is in an illusion, to say the least. The structure is ending very abruptly with its flat roof and on top of that, we see a pyramid of interesting girders that are illuminated at night and gilded so Atlanta’s population will remember this icon of modern architecture for as long as it exists. To learn more about Atlanta Art Galleries and Art Schools, check out this post.

Quick Facts

  • Construction start: 1991
  • Construction finish: 1992
  • Designed by: Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates
  • Stories: 55
  • Maximum Height: 1,023 feet / 312 meters

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Officially named Tybee Island Light Station

Withstanding the winds of nature, and the winds of war, this octagonal structure has persevered when other lights have succumbed to the winds of change. The first light on this site was erected in 1736 to aid mariners traversing the Atlantic coast and Savannah River. This and a subsequent light were both destroyed by storms. The current light was nearly destroyed by Confederate soldiers. They burned out the inside and blew up the top third of the then-100-foot structure to keep it from being used by the Union during the U.S. Civil War. For information on great Atlanta sports teams, check out this article.

After reunification, the rubble was cleared out of the interior, the remaining column fixed, and the lighthouse was rebuilt to its present height of 154 feet. The tower has always been painted black and white, but the pattern has changed over the years. We have seen photographs of a black-white-black pattern, and a black-over-white pattern, a gray-over-white pattern, and even an all-white light. The current black-over-white pattern was painted in 1999. It is a resurrection of the pattern used from 1916 to 1965.

Quick Facts

  • Construction finish: 1773 (First Lighthouse)
  • Maximum Height: 154 feet / 47 meters