Equitable Building

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The Equitable Building of Atlanta, later known as The Trust Company of Georgia Building, introduced a new architectural style to the south, as well as drive the propagation of skyscrapers and other built forms in the city of Atlanta. Constructed in 1892, The Equitable building was the first skyscraper in Atlanta. Although only eight feet tall, it was the tallest building in Atlanta during that time, and was imposing on the surrounding structures due to its size and ornamentation. The building was designed by Burnham and Root, a Chicago-based firm who largely contributed to the form of skyscrapers in Chicago. One building that was designed by Burnham and Root, The Rookery, is referenced to establish a similar style and form in the Equitable…show more content…
In the 1860s, the production of war materials became a high level of importance to industries and companies in Atlanta. This increase of production led to the increase of the railroad system. Although present and in use before the Civil War, the railroad gained a new purpose and aided in transportation of materials throughout the region and increased the spreading of ideas and innovations. Before troops left for the March to the Sea, in 1864, “fire and Union soldiers demolished the city’s railroad depots, the roundhouse, the machine shops, and all other railroad support buildings.” (Ambrose) The repercussions of the fire left Atlanta with less resources than before, ultimately taking away all that Atlanta had developed into being, yet giving the city a blank slate to become something greater. Once again, the railroad system was a huge developmental factor that contributed to the redevelopment of Atlanta. The railroads connected Atlanta to ideas and resources that existed “at the heart of the local economy, swelled the city’s numbers, connected Atlanta to distant markets,” (Ambrose) and “shaped its physical layout” (Ambrose). The benefits that Atlanta gained from this single system led to new connections and increased trade. This also supports the claims of Atlanta being the “Chicago of the South”. Wholesale and retail trade…show more content…
Also, the building exemplifies the increase of knowledge and innovation that has developed, and the acceptance of northern ideas that could improve the conditions of the city. The construction of the Equitable building not only drives further exploration of buildings and motivation to achieve new structural heights, but also changes the scene of the traditional southern building image. Even though Root was educated on architecture of the north, he was born in the south. His decision to design this style of building, and at this height, for the city of Atlanta was a radical move and the start of a new and innovative city. The imposing height had inspired other buildings to be developed at even greater heights, testing different formal decisions. Unfortunately, the Equitable building does not exist today and was demolished in 1971, as to make room for the Trust Company of Georgia Building’s lobby and plaza. Pieces of the Equitable Building were saved and placed throughout downtown Atlanta to continue its memory and importance. Though the building does not stand today, the radical imposition that the building had on the southern culture of Atlanta through its style and form tells of the strength in Atlanta’s communication with other cities, and the devotion the people had to develop a city that encouraged social, educational, and economic
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