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The Ten Park Place Building (Thornton Building)Designated: Landmark Building Exterior
October 23, 1989

10 Park Place, S.E.
Fronting 221.31' on the east side of Park Place South at the southeast corner of the intersection of Edgewood Avenue and Park Place South
District 14, Land Lot 77
Fulton County, City of Atlanta
Existing Zoning SPI-1

Constructed: 1930-32
Architect: A. Ten Eyck Brown

The Ten Park Place Building is only a block from the "Five Points" intersection in downtown Atlanta and is adjacent to Woodruff Park, the Trust Company of Georgia Bank and the Hurt Building. According to the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce's City Builder of 1932, the Ten Park Place Building occupies a "strategic position" in what is "generally considered the heart of business Atlanta". Despite the construction of Peachtree Center and the Midtown building boom, that statement of 1932 remains valid today.

Completed in 1932, the structure was considered "ultra modern" for the geometric simplicity of its exterior design and the flexibility of it's interior space. It is an excellent sample of a Modernistic Style office building; a type that is rare in Atlanta. The flexible interior design made it the forerunner of a new trend in interior space planning.

HISTORY

The Ten Park Place or Thornton Building was one of the last commercial structures built before the Depression and World War II shut down commercial building activity in Atlanta. Commissioned by Albert E. Thornton (1885-1953), a member of one of Atlanta's pioneering families, it was constructed on land that the Thornton family had owned for several generations. It replaced a block of buildings that had been erected by Mr. Thornton's grandfather, General Alfred Austell, in the 1870s.

The building is divided into three tiers: the storefront level with its large display windows and row of small utility windows, the middle three floors topped by an intermediate cornice, and the upper two floors. An original design exists showing the building as ten stories with a eleventh floor penthouse. The structure was constructed to sustain the addition of these floors.

The exterior is finished in creme colored limestone arranged in square and rectangular blocks. Vertical pilasters have a "fluted column" effect and horizontal entablatures with geometric patterns run at several levels on the street facades. The windows are paired, operable, 1/1 sash windows. The storefront bases are made of imported, black and green Tinus marble. The lobby entrance door is elaborately framed with Tinus marble and features a carved ornamental pediment. Brass is used for the window and door frames, around the storefronts and for the elevator doors.

The 1932 issue of the City Builder emphasized, "the unusual feature.... is that a large amount of office space is available and may be sub-divided...to scientifically and efficiently arrange floor space...." The interior office spaces have been frequently reconfigured over the years for new tenants. The public spaces retain their historic character.

A. TEN EYCK BROWN

Anthony Ten Eyck Brown, the son of a prominent architect, was born in Albany, New York in 1878. He studied at the Academy of Design in New York and worked in Washington, D.C., New York and Nashville before moving to Atlanta. He practiced in Atlanta from the early 1900s until his death in 1940.

Ten Eyck Brown designed numerous significant commercial, institutional, and residential buildings in Atlanta, Georgia and the Southeast. Among his best known remaining works in Atlanta are the Fulton County Courthouse (with Morgan and Dillon), Atlanta Municipal Market, the Federal Post Office Annex, and the Cyclorama. He was supervising architect of the Atlanta Schools during the 1920s, when the school system expanded under a major bond issuance.

REFERENCES

Ray, Steven R., Georgia Tech Student, "Historic Property Information Form," 1982, based on county records, original plans, The City Builder periodical, and a promotional booklet published in 1932 by the original owners entitled "10 Pryor Street Building."

Lyon, Elizabeth A. "Business Buildings in Atlanta: A Study in Urban Growth and Form, " Ph.D. dissertation, Emory University, 1971.

CRITERIA
(criteria descriptions)

Group I (1) (2) (3)
Group II (1) (3) (6) (7) (9) (10) (11)
Group III (1) (2) (3)

FINDINGS

The proposed nomination of the Thornton Building meets the above-referenced criteria for a Landmark Building or Site as set out in Section 16-20.004 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Atlanta.

Contact Info
City of Atlanta
Atlanta Urban Design Commission
(AUDC)
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 3400
Atlanta, Georgia 30335-0331

Tel: 404.330.6200
Fax: 404.658.6734

Doug Young
dyoung@atlantaga.gov

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Last updated: 6/11/2013 1:03:32 PM