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With historic Kell Hall razed, Georgia State’s major green space project moves forward

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Built in the 1920s, the former parking deck has made way for new communal space

A rendering of the underway greenway project.
View from the northeast of the impending Library North addition (left) fronting the greenway, with stairs leading to Langdale Plaza (right).
Images courtesy of Georgia State University

A 1920s parking deck-turned-classroom building at Georgia State University was reduced to rubble last year, making way for a major green space enhancement at the school’s downtown campus.

Now, construction crews have nearly wrapped on the first phase of what university officials are calling the greenway project, which aims to transform the void left by Kell Hall, as well as the school’s former Library Plaza, into a premier communal space at the heart of the main campus.

“Workers hauled away the last chunks of concrete in October and have since installed new façades on Langdale Hall and Arts & Humanities where the buildings once adjoined Kell Hall [on either side],” reads a recent GSU announcement.

An architectural drawing of the completed greenway, featuring a lighted walkway between Collins Street and Peachtree Center Avenue (bottom center), stairs connecting Courtland Street to a ground-level entrance to Sparks Hall (lower left), an addition to Library North with a ground-level entrance (left center) and stairs leading from the greenway up to Langdale Plaza (center). Georgia State University

Ultimately, the greenway is expected to shoot from Courtland Street between a few university buildings to Peachtree Center Avenue, flanked on either side by green space—hence the name.

Plans call for workers to soon install staircases linking the greenway to neighboring buildings, and landscaping work is slated to kick off in late March, per officials.

By the end of May, the university aims to open at least a portion of the greenway to students and staff.

“However, because the next construction phase calls for a new ground-level entrance to Library North, complete with façade improvements and a sizable addition,” officials noted, “the portion of the greenway that lies south of the walkway must remain closed to allow work to proceed.”

The expansion of Library North, which sits on the north side of downtown’s Decatur Street, is supposed to finish early next year.

If everything goes as planned with the Library North addition, officials hope, the whole green space should be pedestrian-ready by the end of the spring 2021 semester.

The ongoing changes are part of an effort to help the fast-growing university become greener and more walkable.

For posterity’s sake, have a gander below at Kell Hall’s demise.