Modernist in Midtown

Gulf Oil Building

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This building is the first in Atlanta to be designed by I.M. Pei and possibly his first in the United States. Born in 1917, Pei is considered by some to be the last great Modernist architect. His notable buildings include the pyramid entrance to the Louvre in Paris, Hancock Tower in Boston, East Building of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. It is likely that Pei designed this building during his tenure as director of architecture at Webb & Knapp, a national real estate development company. He formed I.M. Pei & Associates in 1955, which became Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in 1989. His other buildings in the metro area included a small building at 46 Broad Street (1951) and Wildwood Plaza (1991) in Cobb County.The 1951 building was designed by internationally known architect I.M. Pei.

According to City of Atlanta Planning office records, the applicant for the I.M. Pei Building is Midtown-FCA, LLC of Charlotte NC.  This is believed to be a joint venture between Sereo Group & Faison Enterprises, Inc., also of Charlotte.

It was APC’s understanding that the building was to be disassembled and that a portion of the facade will be resurrected as a shell. The building was demolished in December of 2012. It was first listed on APC's Most Endangered Historic Places List in 2007.  And, although listed for over a decade in surveys of Midtown’s historic contributing buildings deserving of local protection, the preservation increment of the Midtown Blueprint has not been implemented. This building did not have Atlanta Urban Design Commission designation and therefore had no protection against demolition.

It is as yet unknown how much of the facade will be resurrected as part of the development.

Media Coverage of  the  Development

Listed in 2007

Area of City: Midtown
Time: 1951
Architect/Designer: I.M. Pei