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Hulking helicopter to haul tons of steel to prep former Equitable Building for new signage

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The aircraft, well known as a “flying crane,” is slated to cruise through Atlanta airspace on Saturday

A rending of Georgia’s Own’s signage place among the stars.
A new sign is soon to adorn what Atlantans have long called “the Equitable Building.”
Renderings courtesy of Zeller Realty Group

A helicopter best known for dropping massive payloads of water and flame-retardant chemicals on colossal forest fires will grace Atlanta’s skyline this weekend, but not because any big blaze is in need of extinguishing.

On Saturday, at the behest of construction company Skanska USA, a Sikorsky S-64 Aircrane helicopter—often referred to as a “flying crane”—is expected to ferry 160 tons of steel through Atlanta airspace, delivering what will form the support structure for the massive electronic sign slated to replace downtown’s long-admired “Equitable” marquee.

Well known as the Equitable Building, the 32-story downtown tower on Peachtree Street—once flaunting a glowing sign with the insurance company’s name—has stood proudly over Woodruff Park for half a century.

A Sikorsky S-64 drops water on a California wildfire.
A Sikorsky S-64 drops water on a California wildfire.
AFP/Getty Images, DAVID MCNEW / Stringer

In May 2017, however, the historic building was sold to real estate investment firm Zeller Realty Group, and the iconic sign has since been dimmed, and was removed soon after.

Georgia’s Own Credit Union, the building’s main tenant, will take center stage, with its logo snagging the enviable, skyscraping real estate that Equitable Life Insurance once claimed.

The high-tech replacement signage—two 174-foot long digital LED signs—not only will display the credit union’s logo, but also will flash information about local charitable opportunities and community outreach events.

ZRG recruited design firm Gensler to help remodel the building’s amenity spaces, and changes are slated to include new artwork, an upgraded exercise facility, and a lounge for tenants.

The building, 100 Peachtree, now houses the headquarters of Georgia’s Own Credit Union, and it also accommodates the Boston Consulting Group with a full three floors of office space—about 60,000 square feet of space, in fact.

Additionally, as of today, free WiFi will be provided at downtown’s Woodruff Park, courtesy of a partnership with Georgia’s Own Credit Union, 100 Peachtree, and Southwest Airlines.

Some say the new signage is a harbinger of the Times Square-esque makeover that could turn parts of downtown Atlanta into an “arts and entertainment district.”

“Once the steel structure is complete, the Georgia’s Own LED signs will be installed using material hoists and swing stages,” according to a press release. “The project is scheduled to be completed in early 2019.”

A photo of Woodruff Park and the Equitable Building in downtown Atlanta.
Rest in peace, you beauty.
Photo courtesy of Zeller Realty Group

Woodruff Park

91 Peachtree Street Northwest, , GA 30303 (404) 546-6744 Visit Website

Equitable Building

100 Peachtree Street Northwest, , GA 30303

Gensler

999 Peachtree Street Northeast, , GA 30309 Visit Website