Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What was going on today at the downtown Davison's?

It's 180 Peachtree now. It was Macy's and Davison's Department Store before that. The main retail floor has been empty for years with promises of a food court, entertainment mall; something for conventioneers. Downtown can't sustain that much retail space anymore.

Today something was happening in there.

It's is one of the great spaces in downtown Atlanta, maybe the best street facing room on all of Peachtree. The main retail floor expresses itself on the outside from the sidewalk up to the band above the arches. It's a space that makes humans feel important. In it's prime I would make a detour to walk through.

My business errands that take me by on foot every couple of weeks. It was raining hard today so I didn't take my camera. I usually can't even see into the big windows. Today was different.

Today the interior was lit theatrically. A group of about 30 folks in suits milled about in white hard hats, flashes going off. The huge 25 foot columns seemed to flank cathedral aisles. Workmen on lifts near the top of the columns weren't working. They were shining their helmet mounted miner lights on the capitals simulating something. I don't know. The room seemed under construction but not dirty or dusty.

There are several huge chandeliers - I'm talking 10 feet tall - covered with fabric. I don't know if there were really chandeliers under the cloth. It was like Ms. Habersham's house in Great Expectations.

A bit of searching revealed a $20M building permit issued December 3, 20090, and a group that had transformed the space for a corporate event. Is that what happened today?

Was this a dog and pony show to entice investors and tenants?

I hope so. I want to enjoy this space again.



  1. Who doesn't love a mystery? Please keep us posted when you uncover more clues.

  2. That building has one of the best looking facades in downtown Atlanta. There have been a number of articles in the AJC over the past year or two about the plans for the building. Here is one from August:

    New life for downtown Macy’s building

  3. 200 Peachtree is being transformed into a special events venue, retail space and adding new restaurants - Meehan's Public House opens this week!

  4. Thanks Downtown Atlanta. That is great news. Hope the public can visit from time to time.

    Here is a rendering of the atrium. Gives a sense of how grand the space is.

  5. With all the focus on the suites you missed Mehan's (an irish pub) which is opening today in the 180 Peachtree sapace. It is located at the farthest northern point on the facade directly next to the Westin.

  6. I did see Mehans minor sidebar compared the the great room. Once you are in Mehans I'm not sure you'll even know what city you are in. Good place for the St Pat's parade though.

  7. i'm ond enough to remember shopping in there when it was a macy's. beautiful building, and i think it be a great space for condos (if the market could support it!).

  8. As a buyer for Macy's, I worked in that building for years. Everyday it was a joy to walk across the mezzanine overlooking the main floor on the way to my office. I really hope that the beauty and integrity of the main floor is preserved, whatever they do.


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