Tuesday, June 24, 2008

yuppie ghetto @atlantic station (nikon d70)

In the days of way back, Atlantic Steel had a plant in Atlanta, just north of downtown. After the Japanese destroyed the steel industry in the United States, the land lay empty and vacant for decades.

In the late 1990s, a Georgia Tech student came up with the bright idea of turning the Atlantic Steel site into a mixed use development. Allow me to translate - mixed use development is urban planner speak for outdoor shopping mall with the same bland chain stores as every other center and cookie cutter vertical trailer parks filled with young professionals. While the initial idea of recycling the prime land Atlantic Steel sat on was good, the results are lame.

On the way to Atlantic station, I passed through an industrial area in the process of revitalizing organically with much better and more interesting results. That is where I found an abandoned table and chair. Behind the fence is the site of a former lead smelting plant, which sits just north of Atlantic Station.

A standard feature of Atlantic Station is the generic faux luxury apartment complex. Every single apartment complex in Atlanta is marketed as luxury, to the point the term has lost all meaning. This one was just completed at the time I made my journey and offering specials to prospective renters. One more shot of the faux luxury apartments.

No master planned development would be complete without incredibly boring and inoffensive public art. There is a companion piece across the street, but this is the better flick by far.

In addition to apartments, the corporate overlords who planned Atlantic Station included a generic soft loft development, which is condominiums. Soft lofts are marketing department speak for generic condominiums finished to look like sort of like lofts (e.g. they might include concrete floors and high ceilings). The idea is to leverage the cachet of actual loft conversions from warehouses and other industrial uses, without the effort or investment of rehabilitating existing buildings.

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