Atlantans still mourning the loss of downtown’s iconic “EQUITABLE” sign might find solace in knowing its replacement will spotlight the work of local artists in lofty places.
Early last year, news emerged that downtown’s 100 Peachtree tower—known for decades as the Equitable Building—would lose its throwback crown for glowing, 174-foot LED signs stretching across the 30th floor on either side of the building.
Just in time for Super Bowl LIII, that signage is scheduled to be officially activated Thursday—but with more than a simple Georgia’s Own Credit Union logo.
The signs, described by officials as the first of their kind in Atlanta, will feature “powerful” art from Off the Wall: Atlanta’s Civil Rights & Social Justice Journey, a campaign of 30 murals by 11 artists around downtown, Sweet Auburn, Vine City, English Avenue, and Castleberry Hill.
The murals represent a partnership between local arts organization WonderRoot and Atlanta’s Super Bowl Host Committee. They’re scheduled to start flashing in the downtown skies on Friday, officials announced today.
“As a Georgian and proud Southerner, having this platform to represent where I am from and to see my work scaled up, exhibited, and interwoven into the Atlanta skyline is the most honorable opportunity I could have,” said Shanequa Gay, an Off the Wall artist, in a press release.
After bringing its headquarters downtown in 2017, Georgia’s Own houses 433 employees across 100,000 square feet in the building.
To install the signage in October, Skanska USA used a Sikorsky S-64 Aircrane helicopter—often referred to as a “flying crane”—to ferry 160 tons of steel through downtown airspace.
The Georgia’s Own signs won’t generate revenue, officials noted, and they won’t be part of a planned Atlanta Arts and Entertainment District, which is expected to fuse advertising, outdoor media, and local arts like a smaller, spread-out version of Times Square.
The Atlanta City Council approved legislation in 2017, based on a pitch by Central Atlanta Progress, that called for ads and signage regulations to be relaxed. That ordinance slashed height restrictions for advertisements and paved the way for light projections, glowing billboards, and other forms of signage.
In November, CAP announced the first 13 sites set for Arts and Entertainment District installations. Expected them to start popping up on downtown buildings in late February.