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Stories of Atlanta

Not suitable for young girl’s eyes

There is a building in downtown Atlanta that is more than meets the eye. A treasure trove of Atlanta history, this building has generated over 100 years of stories. Built in 1906, the Candler Building is a 17-story high-rise meticulously constructed to the specifications of Coca Cola magnate Asa Candler and architect George Murphy. It was designed to be more than just a building, it was, and is, a monument to Asa Candler.

Candler’s story is well-known in Atlanta. He was one of eleven children who grew up in Carroll County, Georgia. He had been born in 1851 and he started his adult life as what was then known as a “prescriptionist,” one you might find working in a pharmacy. It is common knowledge, especially in Atlanta, that Candler purchased the formula for Coca-Cola from John Pemberton in 1888 and, using his innate skills in advertising and distribution, turned Pemberton’s ‘headache remedy’ into a nationally know drink and Candler into a multi-millionaire.

With his millions of dollars, Candler diversified his holdings, investing heavily in real estate. And that is how, in the first decade of the 20th century, Asa Candler came to own a plot of land on a ridge in downtown Atlanta…a plot of land on which he built the finest building in all of Atlanta.

The Candler building is now under the ownership of the Hilton Corporation and is part of the hotel’s Curio line of hotels…but, as they were in Candler’s day, a hallmark of the building are the carvings that adorn both the outside and inside of the building. By anyone’s measure, they are spectacular and one of a kind, at least, in our city. And if you look closely at those carvings, you will begin to notice distinct differences. Especially with a set of carvings that caught our eye that we feel justifies them as this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

Lance Russell

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to the heart of the matter, Lance’s instincts are tailor-made for today’s “media bite” culture. Brief, poignant and always entertaining, Lance’s current passion is bringing Atlanta’s colorful and inspiring past to life with his “rest of the story” style video series, Stories of Atlanta. “History’s best communicators,” says Lance, “have always been storytellers. It’s in our DNA. ‘Once upon a time’ is how we got to where we are now.”


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