Skip to Main Content
Midtown News Center

May 2024 DRC Recap: Small Modifications Intended for Two Highly Visible Sites

Proposed Changes at Woodruff Arts Center and Centennial (Torch) Tower


At the May meeting, the Midtown Development Review Committee (DRC) reviewed two distinctive renovation proposals. The Woodruff Arts Center proposed installing a new glass façade for a central portion of the Memorial Arts building facing Peachtree StThen, the team representing the ‘Centennial Torch’ tower at 70 3rd Street presented alterations including new fencing, tower cladding, and signage. Read more about both proposals below.

1280 Peachtree Street – Woodruff Arts Center

The DRC appreciated the applicant’s request to modernize and activate the Peachtree St. façade with a new glass storefront as part of the Memorial Arts building. This would serve as a welcoming entry for the new ‘Goizueta Stage for Youth and Families’ and a new interior play space. A glass entry vestibule, new lighting, and signage are also part of the design. The committee was excited to see this phase of an ongoing campus plan to improve access and aesthetics.

To that end, the DRC provided minor comments as follows:

DRC Recommendations:

  • Lower the proposed signage to be more visible for pedestrians. Suggestions included blade and other building mounted signage.
  • Reconsider the design of the raised plaza and existing monumental stairs along the new glass storefront to balance a mix of landscaping and urban hardscape. The DRC felt this could better serve the intended youth and family patrons.

Next Steps: The committee expects to receive updated info for electronic review to confirm that these minor recommendations will be addressed in this phase or the next.

 70 3rd Street  – Centennial (Torch) Tower

The DRC reviewed proposed alterations to the existing ‘Centennial Tower’ at the western termination of 3rd St. visible from the interstate highway. A new six-foot (6’) vinyl coated chain link fence is proposed at the periphery of the site except for a 10’ wide access to the entry door. The existing single-story 16-0” tall cylindrical building would have a new 16’-9” tall parapet wall installed while the upper cylindrical section would be clad with perforated metal panels. Digital static signage (equivalent to billboards) are proposed on both the parapet wall and upper cylindrical section.

The DRC raised serious concern that the proposal is in preparation for future billboard signage, which is strictly prohibited, and would undermine future redevelopment opportunities of the area. The following comments were made:

DRC Recommendations:

  • Since this application clearly is in preparation for signage and this does not meet the appliable City sign ordinance* the DRC questioned whether the modifications should be pursued.

* The City sign ordinance prohibits signs above roofs and only allows defined “building signature signs”…on buildings four or more stories in height...” Moreover, the size of the proposed building signature signs greatly exceeds its size allocation “at only 5% of the area of the wall it is affixed.”

  • With or without signage, the DRC recommended reconfiguring the fencing at the northeast portion of the site to be perpendicular to the ally with termination at the circular building.

    Next Steps: The committee expects careful review by City Staff to confirm if this proposed signage either is or is not prohibited before taking any action.

    Share This