The architects responsible for reviving the UFO-like Polaris restaurant atop the Hyatt Regency Atlanta wax nostalgic — and preview the future — in a short Facebook video that's worth watching. Titled "Reflections on the Blue Dome", the clip features Atlanta architects Bill Johnson and Brian Finkel of The Johnson Studio giving behind-the-scenes insight into the iconic structure's resuscitation. "We weren't trying to make a museum," Johnson says, "but at the same time, we're trying to preserve some of the retro parts that are still cool today." Opened in 1967, the Polaris topped Atlanta's tallest structure at the time, but its last meal was dished out way back in 2004. Johnson insists the experience of riding the Hyatt's elevators though the vast atrium, out of the roof and into the spaceship is still impressive. And that's before patrons see the revolving bar. "When the (elevator) door opens," Johnson says, "it's going to be, 'Wow.'"
The Polaris restaurant and lounge sits 29 floors above downtown, and the architects still champion the view, though the vertical city has encased it. The renovations are expected to wrap soon, and the restaurant should open in the first quarter of 2014, hotel officials say.
A description for the above 1967 photo describes the "bubble-top" restaurant as Atlanta's new $18 million showplace, and part of the "Southeast's fastest growing skyline." Speaking of historical trivia: Doors lead singer Jim Morrison stayed at the hotel in 1970 and was reportedly blown away by the experience, as he relayed in an interview: "Atlanta has the most amazing hotel you've ever seen. Um, you walk in, and from the outside it looks like any other large hotel. You get in and you look up and it goes up about 27 floors and the interior is like a Spanish courtyard, and, and architecturally it's hollow. So all the rooms face each other across this vast garden-arena. And the elevators are like, um, kind of Victorian rocketships ?"