Ellen and I spent last week in Atlanta, Georgia. It was nice to get away to a different climate for a bit, although it was unseasonably cold there. We mainly had blue skies with full sun which helped warm things by noon most days.
When we travel I always like to look at architecture. Atlanta is full of interesting buildings. Many of the large downtown buildings were designed by John Portman, a local architect. Portman has a legacy of buildings including several hotels. He has done a fabulous job making these big structures feel in scale for humans. The Westin Hotel features an elevator on the exterior of the building. In 2008 Atlanta was hit by 130 mile per hour winds which damaged a lot of glass in the Westin Hotel. The exterior elevator was not in operation while the glass is being replaced. What an enormous task! The Westin also features an excellent restaurant at the top floor. It rotates slowly so you get a full panorama of Atlanta as you enjoy your meal. Ellen and I took at 6:00PM seating so we could watch the lights of Atlanta come on.
We spent a good chunk of time in the state capitol building. Their capitol has a large gold dome that can be seen for miles and miles when the sun shines on it. The interior of the building has a lot of Georgia marble and other stone and is quite lovely. The legislature was not in session, which gave me a chance to look over their House and Senate chambers. I had a wonderful chat with the House Sergeant at Arms. At 180 members the Georgia House is quite a bit larger than the Minnesota House, but their Senate is only 56 members.
One day we went to the Atlanta History Center. There is a 1850’s farmstead there that gives a real feeling of what life was like at that time and location. The corner detailing on the log walls was exceptional and appears to be in excellent condition after many decades of exposure.
We did most of our traveling by the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transportation Authority…or MARTA. The underground trains were fast, clean and on time. We used the MARTA bus on the surface street for connecting links. One of the central downtown MARTA stations is fairly deep underground with a long escalator to take you up and down.