Old buildings are like old friends

The Atlanta Medical Arts Building (384 Peachtree Street) stands out in in a view of downtown Atlanta and all its modern structures. Yesterday as I road my bicycle to check on the Proctor Creek Trail, lost in thought, this view yanks me back to the present and I wonder again “what is this deal with this place?”. It looks so out of place in the skyline of modern, clean, structures usually adorned with lots of glass and metal. I’ve ridden past this building day after day for years. It stands out now in the Atlanta skyline more and more.

The Medical Arts Building has stood there since 1927, quietly offering a little reassurance that some things in this crazy world stay the same. It’s not a thought – it’s a feeling that sinks in immediately and adds itself to my background awareness. But what an illusion that is! Old buildings are constantly being torn down and replaced with something new. That will happen here too.

Atlanta Medical Arts Building

The building becomes more iconic and seemingly permanent over the years. That also puts it on a shrinking list of downtown buildings slated to be replaced soon. I’m surprised it’s still there, being at such a prime commercial location. The building has been “vacant” since 1995! But I see lights on and open windows here and there so that’s not 100%.

The area right around this building has changed in big ways. The freeing the freeways program was a huge restructuring of the downtown area that disrupted life and commerce in Atlanta for quite a few years. The medical arts building was an apparent casualty.

This is a picture of the building in its heyday in 1950. The landscape itself is different now.

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