Friday, September 08, 2006

M. Tuthill: thesis

The Atlanta Cultural History Center

Final Design Proposal is presented to the Faculty of the Department of Architecture School of Architecture, CET and Construction


Matthew W. Tuthill

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree
Bachelor of Architecture

Southern Polytechnic State University
Marietta, Georgia
Fall, 2006
I. Research Statement
Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. With the large private sector of fortune 500 companies located here business attracts many people and provides many jobs in and around the Atlanta Metro area. Atlanta has also welcomed growth over the past thirty years by implementing means of public transportation for easy movement through the city and surrounding metro area. Marta, Gwinnett Transit, and many private bus and taxi systems are located all around the Atlanta area. Atlanta also has the nation’s busiest airport. The above mentions factors that contribute to urban growth that has sprawled out of control, here in the metro area. Atlanta, once known as "a city built in a forest," is becoming a concrete jungle as its trees disappear to make way for shopping malls, houses and highways along with other man made construction eliminating the natural surroundings. Although Atlanta has endless amenities through the City and surrounding metro area, I feel there is one major issue that is not addressed in its on going expansion.
The proposal of a large scale “Atlanta Cultural History Center project for the city of Atlanta,” is important in educating Atlanta’s residences about the cities history, and future, along with providing a Cultural hub for all to come together and enhance the
richness of the cities diverse population. This can be achieved by choosing a site that can enhance the local people and also link other areas of Atlanta creating a Cultural melting pot. Located in the city of Doraville, such a site resides, at 3900 Motors Industrial Way, Doraville Ga. Currently the General Motors plant that will be shut down early 2008, according to local sources. The site is a transportation artery linking business street Peachtree Industrial, and access to I-285 and Buford Hwy. The site also connects too many residential secondary streets. Besides the endless motor vehicle routes Marta has the Doraville train station directly on the site linking it to many important parts of Atlanta.

II. Related Precedence
There are many local and National projects that have tackled the issue of urban re-development. Recently we have seen a popular trend in Mixed-use development projects throughout inner cities, to save valuable space and allow for better use of existing space. An example locally is the Atlantic Station project, a highly mixed use development that revitalized an existing industrial site. There are many projects that do the same for example the Brownfield projects. One example is the Abandoned Airport in Denver. The Airport was abandoned in 1995 after significant contamination to the site after years of fuel and other chemical run off. Today one of the largest developed Brownfield projects exists, revamping an urban Industrial Ruin for the local residences. The same approach can be applied to the GM site in Doraville.

III. Methodology
The Atlanta Cultural History Center, or (A.C.H.C.), will introduce another kind of Brownfield project to the local area. Through research of Atlanta’s past, on going efforts by local development groups, such as City of Doraville’s planning review board. I can develop a starting point of the project. Local census findings will help with defining the existing and future population, allowing for development of cultural background of the area. Multiple site visits and analysis will develop research for accurate planning for the A.C.H.C. project. I will be able to define the reason for its success as an important Transportation link for the city. Mapping the primary and secondary streets will allow for site order by meshing the project into the pre-existing flow of the surrounding site.

IV. Anticipated findings
In the end, I expect my research will confirm my research statement and give meaning to the comprehensive design. The project should evoke opportunities for future growth to the area, that relate to understanding the importance of defining our culture here in Atlanta. I hope to find that I can promote the idea of expanding the existing Marta infrastructure. The idea of bringing the diverse population together in a positive, controlled, learning environment, are key elements to the projects success.
I anticipate that there may be certain things that could interrupt the process for such a development such as, redeveloping an existing site which had existing jobs for local residences, the idea of unifying a design that would tie the diverse cultural influence together. In the end I feel the impact of the Atlanta Cultural History Center, will create a positive patch to the local urban structure by enhancing the surrounding areas to the site, promoting the use and importance of Marta and other mass-transit projects, and bringing Atlanta residences together as one.

V. Bibliography
Burgess, Ernest. The Growth of the City. University of Chicago Press. Chicago, 1925.

MARTA. Inner Core Feasibility Wrap-Up Report. March 2005

U.S. Census Bureau. 2000 Census Demographic Report. for the City of Atlanta.

U.S. Census Bureau. 2005 American Community Survey for the City of Atlanta.


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