Classic Atlanta

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Author: William R. Mitchell, Jr.

Photographer: Van Jones Martin

Format: 9" x 12"

Pages: 224

Description: hard cover; full color; 354 illustrations; color photographs, maps, archival images

ISBN: 0-932958-12-5

Price: $60.00

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In just 150 years Atlanta has risen from a remote crossroads hamlet to become the largest and most important city in the South. Driven by an irresistible and sometimes self-consuming spirit of progress and optimism (flinching only briefly at Sherman’s torch), Atlanta appears to be in a perpetual state of flux. But while the skyline shakes and changes with the ripple of each new economic muscle, many of the original well-planned residential neighborhoods have not only survived the phenomenal growth, but have been enhanced and preserved and are admired throughout the United States. It is somewhat ironic that this white-hot “Atlanta Spirit” of energetic progress and these handsome, stable, tree-shaded neighborhoods are each recognized as being “classic” Atlanta.

Through a beautifully illustrated essay and timeline, Classic Atlanta gives the reader a comprehensive overview of Atlanta architecture and the forces that have shaped its evolution: the geography and topography; technology and economics; war and social change; strong, dynamic personalities who have shaped its spirit; and the vigorous, romantic persona of the city itself. Meticulously arranged and documented, the timeline illustrates the remarkable construction and “deconstruction” of the Atlanta skyline and recognizes the designs of a legion of talented architects.

Following a tour through many of the historic neighborhoods of Atlanta, the reader is taken into some of the landmark homes which still define that aspect of “classic” Atlanta. From the beginning of the twentieth century until World War II, Atlanta enjoyed a local renaissance in architecture, led by such nationally important figures as Neel Reid, Philip Shutze, and Lewis Crook, and many of their most notable commissions are featured in this section.

Classic Atlanta is the fourth in a series of award-winning efforts by architectural historian Bill Mitchell and photographer Van Jones Martin. Their illustrated histories of architectural subjects are models of balance between text and photography. Beautiful and informative, they grace the homes of avid amateurs and the reference shelves of historians and architects.