No. 242 . 01 June 2005 
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Atlanta Mid-City

by Lisa Ashmore

In the 1950s, Atlanta, Georgia named itself the city "too busy to hate." Unfortunately, it also became the city too busy to walk and, in recent history, was a deadly metro for pedestrians, ranking as high as third in the nation for pedestrian/ traffic fatalities.

At least one recently completed condominium works against that trend. "MidCity Lofts" are upscale, sunlit, two-story apartments that are attracting smart urbanites to downtown. The building spans a city block that connects old Atlanta — the 1924 Biltmore hotel is across the street — with an ambitious new expansion of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The design of MidCity Lofts is modern without screaming "new." Except for a slightly angled roof that glints on the west end, it looks like it might have been part of this midtown neighborhood for some time. Granite and red brick, two favorite Atlanta materials, dominate the exterior.

"A lot of people know us more for our conversions than for our new buildings, and they assume that this was a conversion as well," says architect Eric Brock, who was a principal of Brock & Green, before its recent merging of interests with Lord, Aeck & Sargent Architecture. While they wanted the lofts to fit in, he adds, "we didn't want to create something that was trying to look old."

While fitting in, the building is stimulating a pedestrian presence. There are people, lots of them, walking past. The neighborhood has won two awards for being among the city's most walking-friendly.   >>>



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