was the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, held in Paris. Art Nouveau was a style popular in Europe for a few years before the Expo, but afterwards, the style became popular all over the world– anywhere people wanted to exhibit optimism and luxurious style. Thus the style of Art Deco was born.
The style fit Atlanta’s exuberant and aspirational nature perfectly, so it was quite popular here from 1925 to 1940.
As a center for commerce, we will first take a look at Atlanta’s Art Deco commercial architecture.
In 1928, construction began on the Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph building, now the AT&T Communications Building. First designed to be 25 floors, the Depression delayed it to several construction periods to bring it up to its final 14 floors. The building’s limestone and stepped forms are reminiscent of New York skyscrapers of the period.
Regenstein’s was a ladies fine fashions department store. The building remains on the corner of Peachtree and Andrew Young International Blvd., downtown.
Further south along Peachtree, at Five Points, The William-Oliver Building was built in 1930 by architect Francis Palmer Smith.
Many of Atlanta’s civic and government buildings were constructed in Art Deco’s various styles. The most monumental of them all is the Atlanta City Hall.
Some residential buildings were built in the Art Deco styles, and some were quite amazing– like this home on Peachtree Battle Drive.
Perhaps the most extravagant Art Deco buildings were the film palaces, and Atlanta had more than it’s share of them.
Most were clustered at the old theatre district, where Margaret Mitchell Square and Peachtree Center are today. They are almost all gone, including the Lowe’s Grand Theatre, where Gone With The Wind premiered in 1939. The Lowe’s Grand Theatre was originally the DeGive’s Opera House. Also lost were the Erlanger Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Palace Theatre, Bijou Theatre, and Roxy Theatre.
But, thanks to the work of many 1970 Atlantans, the
Fabulous Fox Theatre
still thrives today.
Also, the Buckhead Theatre, and Plaza Theatre
And, of course , the Art Deco Diners:
In the 1980’s through today, Atlanta has experienced a resurgence of buildings that have some of the qualities of, or could be considered as, neo-Art Deco, and are exceptionally notable: