[Vision for expanded Centennial Olympic Park. All renderings: Coxe Curry & Associates/Georgia World Congress Center Authority/ABC.]
Centennial Olympic Park just took a big step toward gaining more space with a $10 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that the contribution marks the largest gift in the campaign to raise $25 million for an overhaul of the 20-year-old downtown attraction. Plans to spruce up and enlarge the park — at the expense of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce building — coincide with the continued growth of attractions around the area. The park has proved a major boon for attracting tourists and locals alike to downtown since the 1996 Olympic Games. Hopes are that the fundraising campaign will wrap up in August 2016, with two years of construction to follow.
The largest expense in the transformation is the acquisition of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce building, which will cost a reported $13 million. The incorporation of that acreage into the park footprint will do more than just provide additional green space, opening up a large portion of the eastern edge of the park to connect it to Marietta Street, the Omni Hotel and the College Football Hall of Fame. The rest of the budget will go toward a range of projects including a new large gathering space for events, an expanded amphitheater and band shell, a new operations building to include a catering kitchen, the conversion of International Boulevard into a pedestrian plaza and the transformation of all of the entrances of the park to make the approach more inviting. (Applause).
Officials hope to derive significant funds from the sale of customized brick pavers, much like those sold 20 years ago to fund the original construction of the park. Those bricks would fill the new pedestrian plaza.
· Centennial Olympic Park makeover gets $10 million boost [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Downtown's Nucleus, Centennial, Wasn't Always a Park [Curbed Atlanta]
· Should ATL Chamber of Commerce Sell Park-Side Locale? [Curbed Atlanta]
· Shriek! Triple Dose of Thrill Rides Bound for Downtown [Curbed Atlanta]