Office workers trickling back to Midtown might notice something if they’re working late: Atlanta’s most cosmopolitan subdistrict, in many places, has literally taken a new shine.
From transit stations to mixed-use blocks costing a half-billion dollars, lighting elements are being incorporated all around the 1.2-square-mile Midtown Improvement District, with much more in the pipeline that promises to enliven formerly barren land and parking lots.
The lighting additions have come at street level and hundreds of feet above. They join the likes of landmarks Promenade II, One Atlantic Center (formerly IBM Tower), and others that have used lighting schemes to help distinguish Atlanta’s skyline from banal, boxier ones.
We set out on a temperate July evening to catalogue a few key, recent pops of color and light around Midtown. Head to the gallery for a tour, or continue below.
Aesthetic enhancements to MARTA's Arts Center station, including a mural by local artist Stacie Rose, were implemented last year. New seating and more than 5,000 plants were also added.Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
At Selig Development's three-building 1105 West Peachtree project, testing has begun for lighting elements on an exoskeleton architectural feature, reps tell Urbanize Atlanta. Plans call for changing the colors to reflect events or special occasions (think: rainbow patterns for Atlanta Pride, or red for a Falcons' Super Bowl run.) Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
The lighting schemes will extend up the 31-story office building at left, where Google and Atlanta law firm Smith, Gambrell & Russell have claimed floors. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
The Coda project's internal public corridor and restaurants glow at night, as seen from West Peachtree Street. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
The flipside of Coda on Spring Street, where The Collective Food Hall's outdoor living room includes a Jumbotron airing the Braves on this particular night. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
The mixed-use Coda district's lighted entryway off Spring Street. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
Global commercial flooring company Interface opened its headquarters in Midtown in 2018, complete with a forest-inspired building wrap that lets light in—and at night, out. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
The vacant Tower Square building (built four decades ago as AT&T Midtown Center) is undergoing a capital improvement project that includes new lighting along its recognizable concrete façade.
Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
Part of Tower Square’s phase one upgrades along West Peachtree Street include this backlit wall of Corten steel and upgraded common areas. The CBRE project is creating Midtown’s largest private greenspace, with eventual plans for 90,000 square feet of street-level retail.
Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
Like Coda, the John Portman and Associates-designed office towers for healthcare giant Anthem have drastically changed West Peachtree Street. At left, lighting highlights the angled, lower-level flourishes of Anthem Technology Center over 4th Street. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
Looking south on Spring Street, new signage for the Here Atlanta student apartment tower is visible. Facade designs for the CA Ventures project were inspired by computer circuit boards—a nod to Tech Square and nearby Georgia Tech.Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
As with the Here apartments in the background, Norfolk Southern's new headquarters aims to finish construction in coming months and shed light on what used to be surface parking. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
At Norfolk Southern's new Midtown HQ, an event was staged last month to showcase new lighting features as they were flipped on for the first time. Courtesy of Norfolk Southern
The Fortune 500 company's $575-million, two-building HQ replaces what was largely surface parking across 3.4 acres before. Here the lighting has switched from green to red. Courtesy of Norfolk Southern
And lastly, what's a nighttime tour of Midtown without a moment for lakeside reflections at Lake Clara Meer? Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta
• Photos and key takeaways from Politan Row, Midtown's classy food hall (Urbanize Atlanta)