Friday, March 13, 2009

New concert hall for Woodruff

The AJC reports this morning that the Woodruff Arts Center has come up with a new plan for a symphony hall:
The new concert hall would sit atop Callaway Plaza, now used for drop-offs and parking at the southern edge of the 41-year-old arts center. The plan requires demolishing some of the center, which houses the current Symphony Hall, the Alliance Theatre and other facilities.
This is the replacement site for the 14th street site, which never generated much excitement among donors (or, ahem, bloggers). Architect Santiago Calatrava is still on-board, apparently, which is good news. While the site didn't get much attention, his design did.

In terms of the new symphony hall, this location should get donors considerably more excited. Folks in Atlanta go crazy over a Peachtree Street address... there is an old saying that I think I read in Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn. It is something along these lines: there are two sure-fire ways to get rich in Atlanta:
  1. Buy Coca-Cola stock, and hold on to it
  2. Buy property on Peachtree Street, and hold on to it.
This site, of course, kind of combines both sayings.

I also like the new site since it addresses what I think was always a major shortcoming of the original center's design, which is the fairly useless plaza at the very visible intersection. I just felt it was way too suburban for such an urban site, although I recognize that Midtown was significantly less dense when this was built 41 years ago.

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