Medical Arts Building listed on National Register of Historic Places

Photo by Gene Philips

The Medical Arts Building in Downtown Atlanta has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The dilapidated building at 384 Peachtree Street is one of a few surviving examples of the expansion of Atlanta’s central business district north of Five Points during the first three decades of the 20th century. As one of the first buildings in Atlanta to include a covered parking garage, it also represents the increasing influence of the automobile the city. The building was developed by four prominent local doctors (Cliff Sauls, Grady E. Clay, James E. Paulin and Malvern D. Huff), who saw the growing need for state-of-the-art medical offices.

The Medical Arts Building is an excellent example of an early 20th-century mid-rise office building, utilizing Neoclassical elements of pilasters, decorative cornice, and clean lines. The building is also a major work of an important Georgia architect, G. Lloyd Preacher, who designed many buildings in Atlanta during a long and distinguished career that included at least 100 buildings, including Atlanta City Hall and the Wynne-Claughton Building, as well as commissions throughout Georgia and the Southeast.

Construction on the Medical Arts Building began in May 1926, and was completed in 1927. The structure of the building is steel frame encased with concrete, and also utilizes terracotta tile for fireproofing. The three-part exterior features a base, with storefronts clad with limestone on floors one and two – on both Peachtree Street and the north elevation – a shaft clad in buff brick veneer on floors three through ten, and a capital of buff brick on floors 11 and 12 that is capped with a pressed-metal cornice. Remaining interior features include corridors with marble floors, original metal doors with transoms, grand staircase with decorative metal railing, and elevator lobbies with marble floors and baseboards.

 

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