Friday, October 5, 2012

Gargoyles and 2 Centenarians in Downtown Atlanta

The view north from SunTrust Plaza features three of Atlanta's 100 year old buildings. I'm sure Portman and Associates made this little observation platform just for architecture tourists.

On Wednesday I took a few pictures of the Imperial Hotel and Sacred Heart Catholic Church. 

This is the view from the SunTrust sculpture garden toward the Sacred Heart Catholic Church's gargoyles. The twin towers are 137' tall.


I was standing under the leftmost arrowhead. Left is south, right is north. This photo looks to the west.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Atlanta 1897 by Walter T. Downing (1865-1918), Imperial Hotel 1910 by Edward E Dougherty (1876-1943), Atlanta First United Methodist Church 1903 Willis Franklin Denny (1874-1905)

I don't know the name of the sculpture. I call it "4 big, big-haired beauties kneeling inside a wreath." (Thanks to Travis Taylor who id'ed the sculpture as "The Rites of Spring". More on Travis' blog "Wonderlust Atlanta.")

This is a great view (but not a great picture), looking south from Peachtree at Ivan Allen. Sacred Heart's red tower is stunning but you only have until the light changes to see it. My vantage point was just beyond the leafless trees.

Once I started looking I just let it go an enjoyed the view.

The foreground / background mix of styles and colors is what I enjoy most. ..."radically different from its surroundings, and therefore inherently special-looking, happily located to make some drama and contrast.." Jane Jacobs.

Those rich red towers are stunning.

The longer I looked the more I enjoyed the view.

But I didn't have much time left on the parking meter.

One last look at Edward E Dougherty's brickwork Wow. You can't see this unless you stop and look.

SunTrust Plaza isn't on your way but you should go anyway. If you work there, please invite me up for a view.


  1. Sometimes it is hard to believe that this is the city I live in - you see so many things and places I have never seen!

  2. Replies
    1. They are better than I can show you because they are so unlike anything else in view or downtown. I haven't shown you much. At street level it doesn't seem particularly big or small. It rocks in context with it's neighbors.

  3. Great post! I love these towers, especially with the contrast of their red against green trees and blue sky. It's a really nice way to enter downtown from the north on Peachtree, being greeted with these. I hope you won't mind me including one od these pics in a blog post linking to this.

    1. Of course Darin. When the leaves fall we'll get a better look at 1st Methodist.

  4. Have always loved gargoyles...not sure why. Great read, Terry. By the way, the "4 big big-haired beauties" sculpture is otherwise known as "The Rites of Spring". More here:


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