- Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park is a 21 acre (85,000 m²) public park located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA that is owned and operated by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. The park was built by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) as part of the infrastructure improvements for the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics. ACOG's chief executive, Billy Payne, conceived it as both a central gathering location for visitors and spectators during the Olympics and as a lasting legacy for the city.
The park is surrounded by many major Atlanta Landmarks; the Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Dome, Philips Arena and the CNN Center are all on the west side of the park and the Georgia Aquarium and the new World of Coca-Cola on the North side of the park. It is bounded by Marietta Street to the west, Baker Street to the north and Centennial Olympic Park Drive to the east and south. Andrew Young International Boulevard, named for the former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador, runs through the southern portion of the park. Since 2008, the area around the park has been marketed, and increasingly referred to in the press, as the Luckie Marietta District. The park property was previously a variety of vacant lots and abandoned, run-down and industrial buildings.
A key feature of the park is the Fountain of Rings interactive fountain which features computer-controlled lights and jets of water synchronized with music played from speakers in light towers surrounding the fountain. The fountain forms a splash pad that was designed for children to frolic in, as well as for concert-goers and joggers to cool off in on hot Atlanta summer days. The waterplay area consists of 251 jets that shoot 12 to 35 feet (4 to 10 m) in the air, and also creates a beautiful water sculpture that's essentially the front yard of the nearby museum. An important formal architectural landmark that is also a fun and playful space, the computer controlled fountain concept has since been replicated in other urban designs such as Dundas Square in Toronto and in commercial uses such as the Bellagio Fountains at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fountain area is surrounded by flags representing the host countries of each Summer Olympics preceding the 1996 games and columns reminiscent of ancient Greece. There are several pieces of sculpture scattered through the park including a statue of Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympic movement. A small amphitheatre is located at the southern end of the park.
Use during the Olympics
During the Olympics, the park contained sponsor exhibits, hosted entertainment and medal presentations, and was a hotbed for pin trading. The celebrations in the park were marred by the July 27th bombing which killed two people and injured over one hundred others. Security at the park and at all sporting venues was subsequently raised to include bag searches and metal detectors at all entrances. The bombing site is adjacent to the Park's "Centennial Tree."
Use after the Olympics
Closed shortly after the Olympics for renovations (including installation of grass) until spring 1998, Centennial Olympic Park now plays host to millions of visitors a year. It also hosts several events including a summer popular music concert series (Wednesday WindDown) as well as an annual Independence Day concert and fireworks display. Portions of the park are available for rental for private events.
The park was paid for in part by the donations of thousands of individuals who "bought" bricks engraved with the short message of their choice and laid as pavers throughout the park. The contribution for each brick was US$35. The message was allowed 15 characters on each of two lines. The finished bricks were laid in alternating light (tan) and dark (brick red) groups comprising a large portion of the 800,000 bricks used in the park's construction. Many contributors ordered replica bricks to keep for themselves as souvenirs.
The park has become a catalyst for new development in Atlanta's downtown. The new World of Coca-Cola museum opened on May 24, 2007, next to the Georgia Aquarium just north of the park, and Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta opened on March 1, 2004 on a corner northeast of the park. Other significant attractions or developments surrounding the park include The Georgia World Congress Center, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Atlanta Apparel Mart, the Omni Hotel, the Tabernacle (formerly a House of Blues location during the games), and the CNN Center, CNN's world headquarters. The Georgia Dome and Philips Arena are just a block away.
On March 14, 2008, Centennial Park sustained minor damage when a tornado tore through downtown Atlanta. Two of the 65-foot-tall light towers were blown down. It was the first tornado to hit the downtown area since weather record keeping began in the 1880s.
- ^ Eberly, Tim; Shea, Paul (March 15, 2008). "Tornado Kills, 2 Pummels Downtown". Atlanta Journal and Constitution. http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2008/03/14/domeburst_0315.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
- ^ Cook, Rhonda; et al (March 16, 2008). "Atlanta Tornado: The Aftermath: Landmarks Take a Hit". Atlanta Journal and Constitution. http://www.ajc.com/search/content/news/stories/2008/03/16/landmark0316.html. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
Atlanta landmarks Museums
Apex Museum · Atlanta Contemporary Art Center · Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum · Atlanta History Center · Callanwolde Fine Arts Center · Delta Heritage Museum · Fernbank Museum of Natural History · Fernbank Science Center · Hammonds House Museum · High Museum of Art · Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta · Jimmy Carter Library and Museum · Joel Chandler Harris House (Wren's Nest) · King Plow Arts Center · Margaret Mitchell House & Museum · Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site · Michael C. Carlos Museum · Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia · Museum of Design Atlanta · Rhodes Memorial Hall House Museum · Robert C. Williams Paper Museum · William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum · World of Coca-Cola
25 Park Place · 40 Marietta Street · 55 Marietta Street · 191 Peachtree Tower · 270 Peachtree Street · Atlanta Hilton · Briarcliff Hotel · Candler Building · Centennial Hill (55 Allen Plaza · Peachtree Summit · 30 Allen Plaza · TWELVE Centennial Park · 45 Allen Plaza/W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences) · Centennial Tower · Coastal States Building · Equitable Building · Flatiron Building · Georgia Power · Georgian Terrace Hotel · Georgia-Pacific Tower · Healey Building · Hurt Building · Hyatt Regency Atlanta · J. Mack Robinson College of Business Administration Building · Marriott Marquis · One Park Tower · Peachtree Center (North Tower · South Tower · International Tower · Harris Tower · Marquis One · Marquis Two) · Rhodes-Haverty Building · Richard B. Russell Federal Building · Robert W. Woodruff Volunteer Service Center · Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center · Southern Bell Telephone Company Building · State of Georgia Building · SunTrust Plaza · The Metropolitan · Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel · William-Oliver Building · Winecoff Hotel
1010 Midtown · 1075 Peachtree · 1100 Peachtree · 1180 Peachtree · 1280 West · AT&T Midtown Center · Atlantic Center Plaza · Bank of America Plaza · The Campanile · Coca-Cola · Colony Square (Colony Square 100 · Colony Square 400 · W Atlanta-Midtown) · CNN Center · Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta/GLG Grand · Mayfair Condominiums · One Atlantic Center · One Georgia Center · Promenade II · The Proscenium · Spire · Viewpoint · Atlantic Station (171 17th Street · 201 17th Street · 271 17th Street · The Atlantic · TWELVE Atlantic Station)
2828 Peachtree · 3344 Peachtree · 3630 Peachtree · Atlanta Financial Center · Atlanta Plaza · Buckhead Grand · Mansion on Peachtree · Paramount at Buckhead · Park Avenue Condominiums · Park Place · Realm · Resurgens Plaza · Terminus (Terminus 100 · Terminus 200 · 10 Terminus Place) · The Pinnacle · Tower Place
Concourse Corporate Center V & VI (King & Queen towers) · Park Towers I & II · Three Ravinia Drive
Sites of Interest Commercial Government Industrial Monuments & Memorials Parks & Nature Performing Arts
Alliance Theatre · Atlanta Symphony Hall · Atlanta Civic Center · Buckhead Theatre · Center for Puppetry Arts · Eyedrum · Fox Theatre · Goat Farm Arts Center · King Plow Arts Center · Plaza Theatre · Shakespeare Tavern · The Masquerade · The Tabernacle · Tara Theatre · Variety Playhouse · Woodruff Arts Center
Residential (Former) Sports Former
688 Club · Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium · Atlantic Steel Mill · Coca-Cola Olympic City · DeGive's Opera House · Equitable Building (1892) · 3rd Georgia Governor's Mansion (John H. James mansion) · Henry Grady Hotel · Kimball House · Loew's Grand Theatre · Masonic Temple · National Museum of Patriotism · Omni Coliseum · Piedmont Hotel · Ponce de Leon amusement park · Ponce de Leon Park (ballpark) · Ponce de Leon Springs · Rich's · Riverbend Apartments · Roxy Theatre · SciTrek · State Square · Terminal Station · Turner Broadcasting tower · Union Stations: 1853 · 1871 · 1930
Atlanta Symphony Center · Center for Civil & Human Rights
Parks in Atlanta Regional parks Community parks Nature preserves
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