Monday, November 5, 2012

Jewel Box Lobby - Downtown Atlanta

You can (update: you can no longer) walk right in to see this ceiling painted by Athos Menaboni.

The Rhodes-Haverty Building, (1929) designed by Pringle and Smith, is now Residence Inn Atlanta Downtown. In it's day it was Atlanta's tallest and remains one of Atlanta's finest.

Francis Palmer Smith designed three office buildings in downtown Atlanta, the Orr, the Oliver, and the Rhodes-Haverty. Each has an extraordinary jewel box lobby.

The lighting is subdued so you have to slow down and look.

I feel awkward standing here staring at the ceiling, so I'm always ready to flash my official Architecture Tourist ID.

As some point they installed drop ceiling.

Restoration Craftsmen restored the ceiling sometime prior to 1991 and were fortunate that Mr.Menabonie lived to age 94.

"Use of the space between false and true ceilings as a return air plenum resulted in an unusually thick deposit of urban grime."


"Mr.Menaboni was contacted by the owner early in the project when his signature was found on the work."


"Athos Menaboni originally rendered the casein paints. "

The jewel box lobbies of the William Oliver Building and W. W. Orr Doctors' Building buildings are just as good.


  1. Normally I prefer a more minimalist style but this ceiling really is a jewel to be appreciated.

  2. That must be the most beautiful Residence Inn in the country! the one across the street from my old apartment in DC was pretty dreadful.

  3. I'll have to go see it - beautiful!

  4. Whenever I see something like this I can't help but to think about the person or people who created it. Imagine the work to build it and then to paint it, and who likes painting ceilings. It should never be covered.

  5. "Menaboni's artistic talent was evident in childhood, and at the age of nine he studied with Ugo Manaresi..." I wonder: Today do talented 9 year-olds get to study with masters?

  6. Beautiful!! I must go see it. Thank you!


Blog Archive