Friday, July 11, 2008

GBA puts out RFQ for DOT building

I'm not sure the headline will make sense to everyone, but I couldn't resist. I'm a sucker for bad wordplay. Anyway, the the Georgia Building Authority has put out a Request for Qualifications to bid on tearing down and the old Department of Transportation building next to the State Capitol.
The demolition of the DOT building and the building of new parking deck are part of an effort to create a greenway eastward from the Capitol toward Oakland Cemetery and Grant Park. It would include putting the new parking deck underground and replacing it with a pedestrian-friendly greenway.
The plan for the "greenway" has been around a while. I think it came out of the Imagine Downtown plan that Central Atlanta Progress spearheaded. The only opposition I've heard to the greenway is when people realize it runs through Daddy D'z BBQ Joint. But man, they freak out when they realize that. Anyway, the Imagine Downtown plan didn't call for demolishing the DOT building, although it did call for razing the existing parking deck across the street.

Provided the parking deck does indeed get put underground, I think this should be a good project. The last thing we need right there is an above ground parking deck, though.

The DOCOMOMO folks will throw a hissy fit, of course. For me, the GDOT building falls into the same category as 615 Peachtree (the old Wachovia building on Peachtree and North Ave.), and the I.M. Pei building at Ponce and Piedmont. Just because it is "modern" does not mean that it is worth saving.

I haven't shed a tear over 615 Peachtree, even though it is currently an empty field. I prefer the empty field to the hideousness of that building. Yes, this is an entirely aesthetic arguement for that particular building. At the end of the day, I think most successful preservation turns on the attractiveness of the building. The DOT building doesn't offend me, but I'm not sure it is special enough to warrant saving. I wish there was a way to save the Constitution building, however, because it seems more historically significant. (It isn't all about aesthetics.)


  1. If the greenway plan comes to fruition, it will be a phenomenal space, and provide a scenic approach to the State capitol. I hope the DOCOMOCO folks don't make a big issue out of this. The plaza would definitely be much better than that non-descript prolatariat looking building.

  2. If the 615 Peachtree building is an example, I don't think the DOCOMOMO folks have much influence.

  3. I'm lovin' those vacant lots all over midtown! Let's tear down all those hideous buildings.

    I'm glad that preservation doesn't necessarily spin on attractiveness, because we wouldn't have anything left, always remember - you love your grandmother's wedding dress, not your mother's.


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