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What 70s & 80s MARTA Stations Say About An Era in Atlanta

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Unlike most other urban transit systems, each of the original (late '70s and early '80s) MARTA stations are quite different — each has its own architecture, its own relationship to surrounding contexts and to interior art installations, and its own ideas about how to manage continuous flows of trains, buses, cars, and people.

On the all-about-MARTA installment of Sidewalk Radio, architect Brian Bell (of Atlanta firm BLDGS) said, "Most of the stations were designed to have what I think is an obvious impact ? a stature, as architecture. There's a civic component, and a real enjoyment of their existence and expression of MARTA within the city."

Each station manages to capture a (perhaps premature, and perhaps not-so-well maintained) declaration of a new and progressive time for Atlanta — in scale or in form, they are if nothing bold attempts at celebrating the future. Brian Bell, again: "There's a lightness to a lot of the concrete work, where the concrete is hovering in the air seemingly unsupported or cantilevered great distances, and it counteracts that heaviness of the material? That was, at the time, very exciting? to design spaces that had that sense of 'This is the modern city' and 'Atlanta is a modern place.'

— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Sarah Beth McKay
· For MARTA Improvements, Do We Have To Think Big? [Curbed Atlanta]