Google+ Georgia On My Mind: March 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beaux-Arts: Lovely!

Having been born and raised in and near Atlanta I’ve driven by the Candler Building, the building in the middle of this picture, many times, but never taken the time to really look at it.

One Sunday morning last October I found myself pushing my way through the glass revolving door at the Ritz Carlton on Peachtree blinking the sleep from my eyes and grasping my camera firmly.

I was determined to snap a few pictures along Peachtree Street. Within a two or three block distance I had taken hundreds……As you see; I have a weakness for buildings and architectural elements.

Atlanta’s Candler Building was named for Asa G. Candler, Atlanta’s 44th mayor, the man who took the Coca Cola formula and launched the company into the marketing icon it is today, and the man who is the brainchild and developer of the building in my pictures.

The building is located at 127 Peachtree Street and was built in 1906. At seventeen floors it was at the time Atlanta’s tallest and most innovative office building.

Built in the Beaux-Arts architectural style the Candler Building is also one of Atlanta’s loveliest structures. Beaux-Arts depend heavily on sculptural decoration along with flat roofs, and arched doors with pediments. The sculpture elements generally coordinate to follow along some sort of theme.

The Candler Building website states: The Candler Building's elaborately-carved facade and stunning lobby pay tribute to the world's leaders in arts and sciences. The marble busts and ornamental friezes were handcrafted by a select group of international artists. This stonework was carved from north Georgia Amicalola marble, personally selected by Mr. Candler and architect George Murphy.

This website states: Typical of the era, its exterior was visually and structural divided into three parts--a two-story base, a 12-story shaft and a three-story capital with large overhanging cornice. The interior of the Candler Building featured special floors designed for use by doctors, dentists, and surgeons; a banking hall; six passenger elevators which were "at all times under the charge of a thoroughly competent engineer"; a barbershop; and what were said to be the "finest baths in America," located in the first basement of the building. Duplicate air-cooling and electric systems were installed to reduce the chance of a total systems failure, and a building-wide "vacuum air-cleaning device" was installed. The triangular building had entrances on all three sides; the largest and most elaborate of these was on the Houston Street side and provided access to the Central Bank and Trust Corporation, which Candler organized in 1906 to occupy the lobby floor of his new skyscraper.

The interior of the building is full of marble, brass, Tiffany glass, and mahogany. In fact, the elevator cabs boast some exceptional mahogany carvings and can be seen in this video:

The Candler Building website contains some great past-present pictures of the building and surrounding neighborhood here, and this website has more images as well.

Another building in the Beaux-Arts style found in Atlanta is the Old Federal Post Office built by James Knox Taylor. Today this building is used as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. You can find out more about the building here.
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