Representatives from City of Atlanta leadership, Midtown Alliance and the Atlanta History Center celebrated the opening of Atlanta's newest public plaza in Midtown, with vibrant public art, landscaping and seating next to historically significant buildings that host small businesses and the Atlanta History Center's Midtown campus.
Pictured from L-R: The Hon. Doug Shipman, Atlanta City Council President; Camille Russell Love, Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Executive Director; Kevin Green, Midtown Alliance President & CEO; Sheffield Hale, Atlanta History Center President & CEO and Midtown Alliance Board Member; Lisa Gordon, City of Atlanta COO; The Hon. Amir Farokhi, Atlanta City Council District 2 Representative; Audra Cunningham, T. Dallas Smith EVP and CAO and Midtown Alliance Board Member.
“[The plaza] is an example of smaller but mighty enhancements that are going to add up to really provide significant improvements to civic life in Midtown,” said Midtown Alliance President and CEO Kevin Green.
The space also hosts a permanent sculpture - titled "Sole Sitter" by Willie Cole - acquired by the City to reinforce the connection between public art and public space.
“We’re excited that [Willie Cole’s “Sole Sitter”] can be part of the phenomenal legacy that he’s leaving to the art world and that it can sit as a permanent art feature in this area,” City of Atlanta Chief Operating Officer Lisa Gordon said.
District 2 Atlanta City Councilmember The Hon. Amir Farokhi said the project is “the type of stuff that makes street life match the skyline.”
“Ultimately, these spaces generate more business, they generate higher property values, they make people excited to spend time in our city,” Farokhi said. “…I can’t wait to see the natural, organic use of this space that will come from visitors, residents, and workers in Midtown.”
Atlanta History Center CEO Sheffield Hale provided a backstory on the Commercial Row building, which was built in 1923 and over the years has been home to Noble’s 10th Street Bootery, the second-ever Waffle House, Jean’s Dress Shop, which was open for 40 years; and now, Cafe Agora and Savi Provisions. Now Commercial Row is a registered historic building in the City of Atlanta.
“It’s significant, not necessarily because of its architecture, but because it speaks to an earlier time in Atlanta,” Hale said. “Over the years, the building’s been used by numerous tenants… We celebrate all those who come before us and have had the foresight to preserve this building as an everyday piece of Atlanta’s past.”
Next up: Midtown Alliance is hosting a Community Launch Party on the evening of August 18 to celebrate the opening of the plaza. Join us for live jazz music, a 360 photo booth, and food and drinks from Savi Provisions and Cafe Agora. Register here and your first drink is on us!