This morning at Design Review Committee conceptual approval was given to a plan for a new 7-story hotel to be constructed where the former Five Points Music Hall sits on 20th Street in Five Points South (older readers may remember this art deco building as a Piggly Wiggly grocery store, directly to the south of Woolworth’s, itself now Bailey Brothers Music). Richard Rauh, an Atlanta architect, presented early sketches of an imitation stucco tower rising above the original facade, whose glass has been removed and whose storefronts now serve as a porte-cochere for auto traffic. Please note this design is in very early stages, and the applicant will return probably several times to the Committee as the design progresses (concept sketch shown above).
The current facade, pictured above, has streamlined limestone detailing. While it’s commendable that the facade is being retained, in this instance it’s a shame that one of our most pedestrian-friendly streets would lose storefronts and gain a car-oriented use (and a curb-cut). The tower itself, in the early sketch, is a typical Homewood Suites you’d see out on the interstate somewhere. The Committee, while giving preliminary approval, stressed they’d want to see more urbanity/finesse in the new structure. It’s exciting (and perhaps surprising given the economy) that there’s demand for more hotel rooms here, given the new hotels that have already opened in the last few years in this area. It’s less exciting that a hotel can’t use a storefront for lobby and bar (like the indie Hotel Highland across the street), but instead turns inward and feels very auto-oriented.
Approval was also given to new steel and wood awnings which will shelter outdoor seating at El Barrio, the new restaurant opening in November to be run by the same guys who turn out the excellent food at Trattoria Centrale (pic above shows the exterior space for the new restaurant in the 2200 block of 2nd Avenue North). However, a request for exterior signage was sadly tabled. More on this in our next post.
[thanks to Richard Rauh for the conceptual rendering]