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Photos: Downtown’s historic, renovated Candler Hotel opens—and it’s gorgeous

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Formerly Atlanta’s tallest sky-rise, the Beaux-Arts style property is said to be “heralding a new era of grandeur” for the city

An opulent hotel lobby of marble and crystal.
The opulent lobby at 127 Peachtree Street NE.
Photos courtesy of Curio Collection by Hilton Hotels

Generally speaking, preservations of Atlanta have had a rough go of things throughout modern history, but a reimagined downtown landmark has opened that could lend proof—nay, further proof—that the city has turned a corner, in terms of embracing its architectural past.

Recent years have seen downtown’s Flatiron and the Art Deco, Coca-Cola-sign-topped Olympia buildings refurbished and reborn with new uses along Peachtree Street.

A black and white photo of an ornate hotel lobby.
The lobby’s grand staircase in decades past.
Tracy O’Neal via GSU Library

Officially joining those landmarks at the cusp of Woodruff Park this week is The Candler Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, where a renovation years in the making aimed to retain the Beaux-Arts style building’s timeless design while “heralding a new era of grandeur” for Atlanta, according to project leaders.

Built by Coca-Cola magnate and former mayor Asa Griggs Candler as Atlanta’s first steel skyscraper, the iconic, marble-clad Candler Building has stood over Peachtree Street and the northern edge of the park since 1906. It held the title of Atlanta’s tallest building for 23 years.

Plans emerged for converting the former office tower to a hotel in 2016, and office tenants were swiftly moved out.

The project stalled, however, and the National Register of Historic Places-listed building remained empty throughout 2017.

Following the transformation, Hilton reps are calling the 265-room property “majestic” and and a fusion of “style, comfort, charm, and Southern hospitality.”

Inside and out, many of the building’s original Beaux-Arts, Gothic, and Renaissance-style architectural details were brushed up and preserved.

The property also includes By George, an elegant all-day French eatery by chef Hugh Acheson—of Empire State South fame—in what was once the Central Bank and Trust, as our sister site Eater Atlanta chronicled this week.

A modern building stands next to a classical one in downtown Atlanta, against a blue sky.
The juxtaposition of modernist 1980s architecture and the classical Candler.

Jenna Hackett, a Curio Collection by Hilton global head, praised the new lodge’s location as being centralized and Atlanta itself as “one of the most innovative and diverse cities in the U.S.,” per a company announcement.

Room rates for a single king bed begin around $270 per night in coming days. One package being offered as part of the opening celebration includes breakfast for two and—appropriately—two “signature Coca-Cola floats.”

An ornate entryway of the white hotel building.
When the Candler Building debuted, some observers viewed its location—several blocks north of Five Points, then the epicenter of Atlanta—as far removed from downtown.
A sculptural piece on the entryway.
Sculptural detailing like they don’t do anymore.
A grand lobby with staircases.
The NICOLEHOLLIS firm led interior designs, preserving the original lobby and grand marble staircase. Also retained: the building’s authentic Tiffany windows.
A chandelier hangs above a lot of marble in the lobby.
A view toward upper floors.
A grand ballroom space with ornate white chairs and patterned carpet.
The building offers 6,000 square feet of function space, which includes this ballroom capable of hosting up to 300 people.
Beyond the marbleized lobby, the bank vault in the building’s basement was spared. It’s rumored to be the former hiding place of the legendary, secret Coca-Cola formula.
A hotel room with blue and floral walls and views across Atlanta.
The hotel’s 265 rooms include 34 suites. The intent was to bring a “warm, residential feel” with customized furniture and rich textures. Windows lend Atlanta views in all directions.
Columns on an old Atlanta hotel with The Candler Building written above.
Retained signage above the exterior columns.
A detailed top of a 1917 skyscraper in downtown Atlanta.
The building’s ornate crown.