You win some, you lose some ... two retro buildings on the east side of downtown, that is. Let's consider the similarities: In former lives they were shelters (apartments and lodging); they're both on or near John Wesley Dobbs Avenue; and they've both got connections to the unstoppable development force that is Georgia State University. In one corner is the former Ramada Inn near Courtland Street (originally the Parliament Hotel), which is undergoing a major overhaul that'll turn it into a private student housing community known as One12 Courtland. Notable primarily for its Googie triangular protrusions along the second level and the roof, the 1964 structure is scheduled to reopen its swanky doors this fall for the college crowd, at which point construction will start on an additional housing tower next door that should take a year to complete. Score one for the midcentury modern lovers!
Not so lucky are the Auburn Place Apartments, which have always had the misfortune of directly facing the Connector on Fort Street. Georgia State University will soon be taking down the 1952 buildings to construct recreational fields. Similar to the old Ramada, they're notable for a gee-whiz architectural accent, in this case a screen of groovy ovals.
It's a bit of a mixed bag — GSU's presence has been applauded for instilling much needed street traffic wherever it goes, but it's yet another loss for the architectural fabric of the Sweet Auburn and MLK Jr. Historic Districts. Half empty, or half full?
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Jonathan Carnright