Art Deco Architecture

The Old Modern - Then and Now

Posts tagged georgia

39 notes &

The Varsity, Atlanta, GeorgiaPhotos from Georgia State University Photograph CollectionsLane Brothers Photographs Collection
A pic I don’t think I’d come across before — Atlanta’s storied Varsity, on North Avenue by Georgia Tech, back when it was new.
From Wikipedia:

The Varsity is a restaurant chain, iconic in the modern culture of Atlanta, Georgia. The main branch of the chain is the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world. 
Originally named “The Yellow Jacket,’ The Varsity was established in 1928 at the corner of Luckie Street and Hemphill Avenue in Midtown Atlanta. Its founder, Frank Gordy, a Reinhardt University graduate, briefly attended The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) but dropped out in 1925. Then, as now, the restaurant catered heavily to Georgia Tech students. 
As the business grew, Gordy was forced to move the restaurant to 61 North Avenue (on the northwest corner of Spring Street) to accommodate the crowds; the present structure now covers two city blocks. It was here that the name was changed to “The Varsity,” reflecting his desire to expand to other college campuses. During the drive-in era, The Varsity began its curbside service, which continues to this day.
The current location in Atlanta is now adjacent to the Downtown Connector’s interchange with North Avenue. When that freeway (now I-75/85) was built by GDOT, it took out several blocks of Williams Street and much of The Varsity’s western parking lot, forcing a parking garage to be erected as a replacement. The restaurant and the Georgia Tech campus sit on opposite sides of the Connector, linked by the North Avenue bridge.

The Varsity, Atlanta, Georgia
Photos from Georgia State University Photograph Collections
Lane Brothers Photographs Collection

A pic I don’t think I’d come across before — Atlanta’s storied Varsity, on North Avenue by Georgia Tech, back when it was new.

From Wikipedia:

The Varsity is a restaurant chain, iconic in the modern culture of Atlanta, Georgia. The main branch of the chain is the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world. 

Originally named “The Yellow Jacket,’ The Varsity was established in 1928 at the corner of Luckie Street and Hemphill Avenue in Midtown Atlanta. Its founder, Frank Gordy, a Reinhardt University graduate, briefly attended The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) but dropped out in 1925. Then, as now, the restaurant catered heavily to Georgia Tech students. 

As the business grew, Gordy was forced to move the restaurant to 61 North Avenue (on the northwest corner of Spring Street) to accommodate the crowds; the present structure now covers two city blocks. It was here that the name was changed to “The Varsity,” reflecting his desire to expand to other college campuses. During the drive-in era, The Varsity began its curbside service, which continues to this day.

The current location in Atlanta is now adjacent to the Downtown Connector’s interchange with North Avenue. When that freeway (now I-75/85) was built by GDOT, it took out several blocks of Williams Street and much of The Varsity’s western parking lot, forcing a parking garage to be erected as a replacement. The restaurant and the Georgia Tech campus sit on opposite sides of the Connector, linked by the North Avenue bridge.

Filed under the varsity atlanta atlanta history georgia tech north avenue georgia fast food drive-in restaurant art deco 1930s

6 notes &

Georgia Department of Health, Welfare, and Education Building, Atlanta, Georgia
Photos from Georgia State University Photograph Collections
Lane Brothers Photographs Collection

Another behemoth State of Georgia office building, located right by the State Capitol. Again, this is the “Stripped Deco” style that was very popular from the 1930s onward to the 1950s — a conservative, functional Deco style with Classical motifs, like columns, interpreted in a modern/flat way. 

Filed under architecture art deco stripped deco state of georgia government building atlanta georgia 1950s

48 notes &

Southern Bell Telephone Company Building, Atlanta, GA, Atlanta, Georgia
Photos from Georgia State University Photograph Collections
Lane Brothers Photographs Collection

I’ve posted lots of photos of this in the past, mostly ones I’ve taken, but these are some nice historical photos. As you can see especially clearly in the last photo, the building was built six stories high, after construction (which commenced in 1929) was halted by the Depression. Additional stories were added a few years later, in keeping with the original design but without the flamboyant carvings that probably would have been there otherwise. The building was supposed to be even taller than this originally but they settled on what they could manage.

For more pictures of this building, see “Southern Bell” in this blog’s archives

Filed under architecture art deco 1930s atlanta georgia southern bell southern bell telephone company building downtown atlanta construction atlanta history

10 notes &

State of Georgia Labor Building, Atlanta, GeorgiaPhotos from Georgia State University Photograph CollectionsTracy O’Neal Photographs Collection
I’m not much of a fan of the state’s government, but I do like their old early 1950s offices, which are in “Stripped Deco” style, with WPA-style friezes, bronze doors, Deco-Classical lamps, etc.  This one is at the corner of Washington and Trinity Streets.

State of Georgia Labor Building, Atlanta, Georgia
Photos from Georgia State University Photograph Collections
Tracy O’Neal Photographs Collection

I’m not much of a fan of the state’s government, but I do like their old early 1950s offices, which are in “Stripped Deco” style, with WPA-style friezes, bronze doors, Deco-Classical lamps, etc.  This one is at the corner of Washington and Trinity Streets.

Filed under architecture art deco stripped deco government building state of georgia atlanta georgia

25 notes &

Retail Credit Building, Atlanta, Georgia
Photos from Georgia State University Photograph Collections

When this popped up in the archive, I was prepared to say “This building is long gone…” I didn’t recognize it! But then I ran a search and doh! this is the big building on Peachtree near Brookwood that’s now home to the Atlanta campus of SCAD. Before that it was occupied by Equifax. -Wendy 

From Atlanta Time Machine:

1600 Peachtree Street NW
Completed in 1956, this building served for many years as the headquarters for the Retail Credit Company.  The Retail Credit Company, which was founded in  Atlanta in 1898 by 2 Chattanooga transplants, brothers Cator and Guy Woolford, had its original offices on Decatur Street in downtown Atlanta. Later, they built a (still standing) headquarters in the Fairlie-Poplar district in the heart of downtown Atlanta.  In 1979, the Retail Credit Co. changed its name to Equifax and is today one of the world’s largest consumer credit reporting agencies. The former Retail Credit building is now part of the Atlanta campus of the  Savannah College of Art & Design.

(Source: digitalcollections.library.gsu.edu)

Filed under architecture art deco 1950s atlanta georgia equifax atlanta history peachtree street scad savannah college of art and design retail credit building