It's been 100 years since the Ponce de Leon Apartments (now the Ponce condominium) building took its majestic stance overlooking the intersection of two of Atlanta's most interesting streets. Along with the Fox Theatre and the Georgia Terrace Hotel, it forms one of the most memorable architectural snapshots in the city. By no means was the Ponce the first multi-unit housing in the city, but it was definitely the groundbreaker when it came to "luxurious" living in close quarters. In recognition of the Ponce's anniversary, let's take a look at Atlanta's best condo buildings by the decade. Like the Ponce, most of them started out as something else, but let's not get too technical ...
1910s: The Ponce (1913)
75 Ponce de Leon Avenue
Obviously! The grande dame of old school architectural glamour reigns supreme as Atlanta's classiest high-rise digs. Classy on Ponce — who knew? Being that the building is 100 years old, it's a crapshoot as to the condition and finishes of each unit, but that individuality is part of the appeal. Some homes have balconies, and all residents can enjoy one the city's best views from the rooftop terrace. That alone makes up for the lack of other amenities.
1920s: Reid House (1924)
1325 Peachtree Street NE
One of Atlanta's most celebrated early 20th century architects designed this regal brick beauty, located kitty-corner to the High Museum in upper Midtown. Beside the fabulous location and elegant appointments, the Reid doesn't do too shabby when it comes to the extras. It counts a fitness center, tennis court and fenced yards as resident goodies.
1930s: The William Oliver Building (1930)
32 Peachtree Street
The William Oliver wows with its extravagant Art Deco detailing that's really without compare in Atlanta. You can't get more central to the city than this location: front and center in downtown's Five Points. The units were renovated with a loft look; think oversized windows and high concrete ceilings. Residents enjoy the use of a rooftop clubhouse, fitness center, business center, and the never-dull reality of downtown living.
1940s: The Wigwam Building (1940)
589 Auburn Avenue
If you picture sterile and impersonal when someone mentions condo buildings, the Wigwam Building is here to challenge those perceptions. Located in the heart of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic District, it practically jumps out of its surroundings with bright colors and retro cool International Style architecture; the place is downright neighborly with its small number of units and short stature. It was renovated fairly recently (2004), so the interiors may surprise you for a vintage building. Consider it Atlanta's own slice of South Beach.
1950s: 805 Peachtree (1951)
805 Peachtree Street
Let's see: central Midtown location, gorgeous midcentury looks, killer amenities ... could 805 get any better? The answer is no, no it couldn't. The sexy lobby that channels Philippe Starck's hotel design work is enough to make you sign on the dotted line without thinking twice. And hey, the individual units aren't so bad either. Most feature a loft look with open layouts and fantastic views; the building's structure is such that each floorplan is used only once as you go up.
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Jonathan Carnright