7 Historic Buildings in Downtown Atlanta

The story of how Atlanta became one of the largest cities and metropolitan areas in the United States is one that involves war and the perseverance of the people who were proud to be from that area. From the earlier 1800’s, Atlanta’s population grew from a mere 35 families living at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to thousands of residents. Although Atlanta’s growth was cut short following the destruction that came with the Civil War, it quickly grew to a population that by 1920’s reached over 100,000 thousand. Many of the buildings built during those periods of growth are still around and still as breathtaking as they were over 150 years ago.

1. Georgia State Capitol built in 1889 on the site of what was Atlanta’s City Hall. The building’s dome was gilded with gold that was obtained during the first gold rush that started in Dahlonega, GA in the 1830’s/


2. Underground Atlanta Historic District, is not a single building but several buildings now one or two levels below the street that were built from the mid 1800’s and onward. They are the oldest structures found in Atlanta.

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3. Rich’s Department Store was established in 1867 and although the stores have closed or have been bought out by Macy’s, Atlantans will always remember Rich’s presence for over 130 years. The main building is still up!


4. W.D. Grant Building is the second oldest skyscraper in Atlanta still standing. It was constructed in 1898 and designed in the Chicago-skyscraper style that became popular in growing cities like Atlanta.


5. Grady Memorial Hospital was built in 1890 and opened in 1892. It was named after a popular newspaper editor from Atlanta who was a proponent of the “New South” idea. Along with other city leaders, Henry W. Grady wanted to establish a facility that was far from sectarian and denominational influences that would welcome all residents of Atlanta, be they rich, poor, black or white.


6. Atlanta’s 1897 Flatiron Building may not be as well known as the Flatiron Building in New York City, but it is older and the second oldest skyscraper in Atlanta made in the same Chicago style as many other skyscrapers at the time.


7. The Candler Building was constructed in 1906 by Asa Griggs Candler, the man who turned Coca-Cola into the giant company and popular beverage that it is today. And when you think of Atlanta, how can you not think of Coca-Cola? The Candler Building was the tallest and most elegant building in its time, which was exactly what Asa Candler had intended.