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Downtown’s iconic Coca-Cola sign is coming down, getting ‘spectacular upgrade’

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Overlooking Woodruff Park, the sign’s successor is expected to be more energy-efficient and colorful

A view of the Coca-Cola sign atop the Olympia Building, with skyscrapers rising behind.
Say goodbye to downtown’s recognizable Coca-Cola sign—for now.
Michael Kahn; Curbed Atlanta file

The iconic, illuminated Coca-Cola sign overlooking downtown’s Woodruff Park is coming down—but not for long.

Installed atop the Walgreens building at 25 Peachtree Street in 2003, the Five Points Coke sign is set for a “spectacular upgrade,” according to the Coca-Cola Company.

Crews began disassembling the 33-foot landmark last week to make way for a newer, more energy-efficient LED replacement, which is expected to debut in January.

The location of the glowing red disc—a mainstay of downtown’s commercial district and Georgia State University’s main campus—is important, too.

“It overlooks the spot where the first Coca-Cola was served at Jacob’s Pharmacy in 1886, and sits just behind Woodruff Park, named for the company’s longest-standing leader, Robert Woodruff,” reads a company blog post.

The aging sign’s successor, thanks to dimmable LED lights, is expected to be lit around the clock. A full-color, interactive digital display will replace the lighted message board beneath it—a la Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s change to the former Equitable building’s signage, although less controversial.

The sign’s update seems to be in keeping with the goals of the Atlanta Arts and Entertainment District, a city program that aims to make downtown more vibrant, and even, to some extent, Times Square-esque.

As of September, there were 15 active proposals for various lighting and signage projects going through review and permitting stages, according to Central Atlanta Progress.