The Architecture of Columbus, GA

The Architecture of Columbus, GA

One hundred miles southwest of Atlanta, on the Alabama border, is Columbus, Georgia.  The city has just surpassed Augusta as the second-largest city in Georgia, but is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state with (only) 316,000 population.  Compared with Atlanta’s nearly 6 million metro population, it is still a small city, but it does have an interesting collection of historical and contemporary architecture and urban design.



Like Atlanta, it is situated on the Chattahoochee River and was started as a western frontier town based on a transportation and industrial economy.  Columbus was established in 1828, nine years earlier than Atlanta. It was located on the northernmost navigable portion of the river for shipping of cotton to Liverpool, England.  The river enabled establishment of many large textile mills making Columbus the “Lowell, MA of the South”.

City leaders once again realized the potential of the river in the 1990’s when a portion of the 1996 Olympic Games were held there and the Riverwalk was established.  In 2012, an old dam was removed to release the power of the Chattahoochee river creating the longest urban whitewater venue in the world.


the longest urban whitewater venue in the world– right in the center of downtown Columbus

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The Springer Opera House
Springer Opera House
The Springer Opera House


Columbus Museum
national civil war naval museum
National Civil War Naval Museum
Columbus GA Civic Center
Greystone Apts
mid-century modern Greystone apts

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Mid-century modern
Brookstone School
Brookstone School
student housing-1506-6th-Ave-Columbus-GA-31901
student housing created from historic industrial buildings
col natatorium
Columbus Natatorium
County Education Center
Columbus Consolidated Government Center (Columbus, Georgia)
Columbus Consolidated Government Center
Old Train Station, now the Chamber of Commerce
Bank of Columbus
on the Chattahoochee river
proposed high-speed rail to Atlanta
col techn col
Columbus Technical College
Columbus Convention & Trade Center

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May’s Folly
col pub lib
Columbus Public Library
ymca 1903
YMCA from 1903


Uptown cafe & brewpub
Columbus Technical College

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Rivercentre performing arts venue
Columbus State University

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col state u
Columbus State University
Columbus State University
magnificent modern building at Columbus State University by Perkins & Will architects


Nearby, is Fort Benning, an US Army Post serving 120,000 people.  Since 1918, it has served as the Home of the Infantry.  Since 2005, Fort Benning has been transformed into the Maneuver Center of Excellence. Included in this transformation was the move of the Armor School from Fort Knox to Fort Benning.

Gateway to Fort Benning
the national infantry museum
The National Infantry Museum
The National Infantry Museum
benning hotel
Fort Benning Hotel

Columbus has come so far from that small mill town on the western edge of Georgia on the Chattahoochee River. It is experiencing one of its greatest and most accelerated periods of growth. Looking good, Columbus.


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