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Curbed Writes an Ode to John Portman’s Downtown Atlanta


We love a good throwback, and a recent article from Curbed titled Neofuturist Architect John Portman Bet On Cities Just As People Fled Them does a wonderful job of telling the story of the birth of Peachtree Center and how it shaped the urban landscape of downtown. Featured heavily are the stunning lobby of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, which connects to our retail center via skybridge, and our iconic Peachtree Center office towers. Here’s an excerpt:


While Portman’s architecture has been influential-he basically invented the atrium hotel, and his firm currently works on projects around the globe-his impact on city planning and urbanism can perhaps best be understood as an optimistic vision for its time. When others were walking away from downtowns, Portman said that we don’t have to ditch them, we can rebuild them.


“His buildings were designed to make people secure and comfortable, but they were also inspirational,” says [Andrew] Young.


The lobbies, atria, and megaprojects Portman created were cities within cities, stunning versions of a new type of town square.


Photo credit: Atlanta Marriott Marquis, interior, atrium, 1985 © Jamie Ardiles-Arce, 1985, courtesy The Portman Archives, LLC