Metro Atlanta Chamber hosts reception to say farewell to its building

By Maria Saporta

The Metro Atlanta Chamber invited current and former board and staff members to say good-bye to its headquarters building as well as its rooftop pavilion.

The Atlanta Chamber has sold its building to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which plans to demolish the building across Marietta Street in order to expand Centennial Olympic Park next year.

The guests included former Chamber Chairman Bill Dahlberg , a retired CEO of Georgia Power, Southern Co. and Mirant; former Chamber Chairman Dick Anderson as well as current Chairman Jenner Wood of SunTrust.

Metro Atlanta Chamber rooftop

Special guests enjoy the Chamber’s rooftop pavilion on Thursday evening (Photo by Maria Saporta)

One of the Chamber’s long time staff members, Roy Cooper, sat in a prime position on the rooftop pavilion, remarking how much the city had changed.

Plastic cups had been decorated with the three presidents who have operated out of the Chamber building, which opened in the late 1980s.

There was Gerald Bartels, who served as president until the end of 1996. He was followed by Sam Williams. And he was followed by Hala Moddelmog, who is the current president of the Chamber.

In addition to their images on the cups, the Chamber also had reproduced cardboard cut-outs of each of the three presidents.

Chamber presidents

Former Chamber President Gerald Bartels stands in between the cardboard cut-outs of himself and his successors – Sam Williams and Hala Moddelmog (Photo by Maria Saporta)

The decision to move from its spot overlooking Centennial Olympic Park, was made during her tenure. The Chamber will be moving to the 191 Peachtree Street.

In several conversations Thursday evening, many people expressed nostalgia about the rooftop and the Chamber having its own highly visible building.

But Jenner Wood was quick to add: “The new space is going to be beautiful.”

The evening reception culminated with a fireworks display – a final splash for people enjoying the view from the rooftop pavilion.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

2 replies
  1. Peggy M Gardner says:

    I worked there and remember that the first time I saw you, Maria, was from the window of my office in Communications.  You had walked down from the paper to the offices and were headed to us on the sidewalk, coming for an interview with Jerry (I think). I really liked working there and people like Roy and Jerry, Judith and others. They did great work on behalf of this city.Report

    Reply

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