It can be easy to forget just how young Atlanta really is, and how recently its skyline evolved into the collection of skyscrapers it is today.
The photo above was taken in the fall of 1967 – only 49 years ago – and shows the Atlanta skyline at the time. That’s it. That’s the entire downtown skyline.
Edward W. Thomas, currently a Georgia Tech professor emeritus who was an associate professor in fall 1967, took this shot while standing atop the institute’s Joseph H. Howey Physics building, which had been completed that same year. Looking southeast, you can see many of the campus’s buildings in this photo, as well as the under-construction downtown skyline.
(Photos: Ponce City Market, then and now)
The little blue UFO-looking shape on the left side of the skyline is the Polaris restaurant which still sits atop the Hyatt Regency Atlanta hotel. Today, Polaris is almost impossible to see from the same viewpoint, swallowed up by many taller buildings.
Going back to the main image at the top of this page, take a look at that skeleton of a building under construction just right of center. That’s the beginnings of the Equitable Building, which was finished a year after the photo was taken. It suffered a direct hit from the 2008 Atlanta tornado, losing many windows that were eventually replaced.
The old image was reposted on the Atlanta Time Machine for the Internet age to enjoy and look back at the early years of the Atlanta skyline. How’s that for a half-century of construction achievement?
Main photo taken by Edward W. Thomas; current skyline photo courtesy of Georgia TechFollow @Sean_Breslin