Monday, December 26, 2011

Wow Renovation to Philip Shutze's Academy of Medicine

Georgia Tech has bought (or were gifted, I'm not sure how it worked) and renovated the Historic Academy of Medicine at Georgia Tech and offers it as an event facility. That is a very fine thing for architecture tourists and for everyone else.

"The new contract clearly stated each architects responsibilities. (R. Kennon) Perry maintained his position as principal architect in charge of working drawings and supervision, (Phillip Trammell) Shutze would design the building." Quote from American Classicist: The Architecture of Philip Trammell Shutze by Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

In 1968 all I knew is that it was a classy building with a front yard on West Peachtree. I lived across the street from the Academy of Medicine (1941) my senior year at Tech. I saw it every single day. I hadn't the slightest idea what they did in there or what it looked like inside.

I was fortunate to attend the grand re-opening on December 15, 2011 and took a few pictures.

This is a per-renovation picture.

Event planning staff and volunteers from Tech showed us around.

Eye's up.

Eyes up again and again.

"In 1980 the entire building was renovated...but Shutze...was not consulted...the sparkling clarity of the original white no longer in evidence...." Quote from American Classicist: The Architecture of Philip Trammell Shutze by Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

I think the "sparkling clarity" is back. Don't you? Who managed the restoration? I hope to find out.

The clerestory windows from outside. "...square tower containing coffered semicircular skylights."

I don't know my terms. Aren't these Acroteria?

The entrance hall / foyer / rotunda is uncanny. It feels colossal yet cozy, grand but comfortable, elaborate but reserved. To me a great place can impress without making me feel small.

A little panorama from the rotunda. Eyes up yet again.

The auditorium is to the east, nice place for a wedding.

Columns in antis frame the stage.

From the stage looking towards the rotunda.

Detail of the mirrored sconces and wallpaper in the auditorium. Do you suppose Shutze designed these?

I'm looking across the rotunda towards the north wing and north entrance. There is a library down there, a good place for the bridesmaids to hang out, also a parlor for the bride.

The north entrance from the outside. It rocks.

I'm standing in the library, looking across the hall into the parlor.

Panorama of the library with its fine furnishings. Not a spec of dust.

The stair is in the north wing too. It delighted every glance.

It's just a few steps from the rotunda yet seems part of an immense space.

It's u-shaped with curves galore.

Downstairs is a bit more modest with meeting rooms. Ample space for the groom's party and more. Look in the mirror.

Crawford Long keeps watch down there.

The south wing is a large hall, suitable for the wedding reception and dance. It has this bodacious highly-modeled painting. My other pictures didn't come out very well.

Do you recognize the artist? We don't know.

How about a few outside pictures.

The portico overlooks the only lawn on West Peachtree.

Severe detailing.



Right now you can see the Cavalia tent framed by Midtown highrises.

The north side has a sunken patio for the reception spillover.

It's enclosed with a view of the midtown skyline.

The north entrance again, the parlor is on the right, the library on the left.

The entrance to the rusticated terrace level has plenty of charm.

The auditorium bumps out of the east facade.

The back door with the transom would enter the stage.

Stairs and a ramp lead to the sunken patio.

Now that I've convinced you, I hope you'll invite me to the wedding.

Thanks to Anne Minty and Shawn Stinson, event coordinators for the Historic Academy of Medicine at Georgia Tech. They are the ones to call.


  1. What a great place! And you did a fine job of covering it. Thanks!

  2. I love the whole place it looks very beautiful.


  3. I have never been inside so I particularly enjoyed seeing your current photos.

  4. This has always been one of my favorite structures in ATL even though I've never been inside. I just always assumed that some idiot would tear it down! It's great to see I was wrong!

  5. It's been close to teardown. Lets hope that Tech can find ways to keep it going. Yesterday I spoke with Ms. Bridges who was on the board that kept it standing for years and finally gave it to Tech. When Georgia Tech expanded on the east side of the connector, things got way better for Midtown.

  6. Thanks for sharing this post. It’s great to know that historic place being renovated and has been made as event facility.

  7. Wow! I am thoroughly impressed with the way you covered the the space!!!

    Anne & I are indeed very grateful that you were able to attend the Grand Opening and would be happy to have you back if you feel you missed anything.

    Please feel free to contact us (404)894-1414


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  9. The muralist could likely be Allyn Cox. He did a lot of work for Shutze including the Goodrum house


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