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This 11-story triangular building was designed by Bradford Gilbert and is the finest local example of the 'Chicago style' of urban architecture. Built in 1897, this is the oldest steel-framed high rise in the city and is credited with influencing the design of many of the skyscrapers that sprang up in Atlanta over the following two decades. The building's name was derived from its distinctive narrow shape, the base of which is supported by half columns separated by vast windows.
When building this landmark in the 1920s, architect Joel Hurt was careful to keep frills to a minimum, preferring the simple base, shaft and capital design so prevalent in the office buildings of the 1890s. The resulting clarity of design still provides a handsome highlight to the Atlanta skyline, rising 18 stories above the downtown business district. It is now used mainly for private office space.
Renowned local architect Neil Reid designed this Beaux-Arts classic in 1920 for the Hass-Howell Insurance Company. Although understated compared to the gaudy design often featured in this style, the ashlar stone building features an enormous, elaborately carved arched doorway that faces the more detailed U.S. Customs Building across the street. A floor of the Haas-Howell Building houses administrative offices of the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts.
The Rialto Center for the Arts is an acoustically splendid, 833-seat, state-of-the-art theater. It is situated in the historic Fairlie-Poplar district of downtown Atlanta. The Rialto's seasonal series runs from early October through May and boasts an eclectic array of dance, music and theater performances and comedy shows. Tickets for all events can be ordered by phone, mail or fax, or by visiting the Rialto box office at the corner of Forsyth and Luckie Streets.
Named after generous patrons Bill & Peg Balzer, the Balzer Theater is home to the vibrant performing group called Theatrical Outfit which has been entertaining audiences since the late 70's by bringing to life the works of some of best writers. Productions are selected based largely on how significantly they reflect elements of Southern history and culture, making them truly enriching events. The stage setup, seating arrangement, acoustics are lighting are all state-of-the-art to say the least, and a visit here is surely in order. Check website for a schedule of current productions and show times.