A Tour of Atlanta's Most Iconic Architectural Landmarks

Architectural landscape in Atlanta
Architectural landscape in Atlanta | Mike
Jacy Topps

The metropolis of Atlanta is full of world-class cuisine, an iconic music scene, the heart of the civil rights movement and a thriving artistic community. But what many don’t know about the metropolitan city is its remarkable architectural landmarks. From compelling angles on museums to striking skyscrapers, discover the architectural beauty in Atlanta’s buildings.

High Museum

Located in the northern Midtown area of Atlanta, the High Museum is the largest in the southeast. Designed by architects Richard Meier, who won the 1984 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and Renzo Piano, the museum is elevated on a hill. Richard Meier used his signature elements of white metal panels and glass to construct the museum. The general scheme of the architectural design consists of four quadrants with one carved out to distinguish it from the other three; the missing quadrant becomes a central, light-filled atrium, which is inspired by the Guggenheim Museum.

High Museum of Art in Atlanta

1280 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA

Center for Human and Civil Rights

Located downtown Atlanta and adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium is the Center for Human and Civil Rights. Established in 2007, the center is an architectural masterpiece. The head of the design team of the 42,000-square-foot building was Philip Freelon, whose firm was also lead on the Smithsonian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Center for Human and Civil Rights in Atlanta

100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA

Sovereign

Located in Buckhead, the Sovereign skyscraper incorporates upscale dining, office space and condominiums. Notably the tallest building in Buckhead, the building was designed by Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates.

The Sovereign Building in Atlanta

3344 Peachtree Rd Suite 2910, Atlanta, GA

King and Queen Buildings

Locally known as “the King and Queen towers,” the two regal buildings are officially called Concourse Corporate Center V and VI. Situated in Sandy Springs, the 34-story towers can be seen for miles. Resembling the heads of chess pieces, the tops of the buildings boast white lattice crowns, which light up for special occasions including St. Patrick’s Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The architectural company that created the design was Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associate.

King and Queen Buildings in Atlanta

5 Concourse Pkwy, Atlanta, GA

Symphony Tower

Commonly known as the “Batman Building” to locals because of its wing-like glass faces above the roof of the building, the Symphony Tower is a 41-story striking skyscraper. Located in the Midtown district, it was designed by architectural firm Pickard-Chilton of Connecticut. It was the first high-rise office building in the world to achieve LEED-CS Pre-Certification Silver Level.

Symphony Center aka “Batman Building

1180 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA

Swan House

Combining Renaissance revival styles with a classical approach, the Swan House was designed by Philip T. Shutze in 1928 for Edward and Emily Inman. After their deaths, the mansion and grounds were acquired by the Atlanta Historical Society in 1966 for historical purposes. In 2004, the Atlanta History Center completed restoration of the house and its furnishings. The house was used to film some scenes in the 2013 film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and its 2015 sequel, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2, and as the finish line of the 19th season of The Amazing Race.

Swan House in Atlanta

130 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA

Westin Peachtree Plaza

The Westin Peachtree Plaza held the title of tallest building in the city for more than a decade, not to mention the tallest hotel in the world for a short time. The 73-story skyscraper was designed by developer/architect John Portman. Cast in reflective glass, the cylindrical-shaped hotel boasts 5,600 windows. The main attraction is the Sun Dial Restaurant and Bar, which is on the uppermost floors and is a revolving restaurant. Its panoramic views of the city, completing a full revolution every 30 minutes, is why even the locals make reservations at the hotel.

Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta

210 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA

Georgia-Pacific Tower

Containing 52 stories, the Georgia Pacific Tower was finished in 1982. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the tower is an office space that features a stair-like exterior that staggers down to the ground made with pink granite quarried from Marble Falls, Texas.

Georgia-Pacific Tower in Atlanta

Flatiron Building

Yes, Atlanta has one, too. Completed in 1897, the Flatiron Building is Atlanta’s oldest standing skyscraper. The vintage marvel predates New York City’s more famous (and much taller) Flatiron Building by five years. Designed by Bradford Gilbert, the 11-story landmark has undergone renovations and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Flatiron Building in Atlanta

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