The iconic Olympia Building, filling a prime spot at Five Points in the heart of downtown, is undergoing a protracted renovation to restore it to its Art Deco glory. And it's almost ready.
Topped by a large Coca-Cola sign, the two-story building had fallen into terrible disrepair over the years and was in need of major TLC. Walgreens invested considerable time and money to renovate the building, turning it into a new location for the chain, while retaining the historic feel of the structure.
Announced more than two years ago, the project has taken a long time due to the complexity of the restoration. The process to save the building involved removing everything from the interior, leaving just the stone walls, braced by a temporary steel skeleton. The renovation revealed clues that while the facade was from the 1930s, the building itself dated back to the 1800s.
Now, with signs up, and the interior being fitted out, it appears that work should soon wrap up on the building. It's not the first historic structure in the neighborhood to get a new lease on life; the Olympia sits just across Woodruff Park from the recently restored Flatiron Building, and not far from the Candler Building, which will soon go through a renovation. Let's hear it for preservation in downtown.