The 800 guest room Hyatt was the first major hotel built in downtown Atlanta since the 1920s.
Since its opening, the hotel has had two additions (1971/1982) in two adjacent towers. One of those is cylindrical and served as a design precursor for the Westin Peachtree Hotel. Both additions were by John Portman and Associates.
The huge interior atrium - first of its kind in modern hotels - was an immediate sensation and changed the course of hotel design. Portman intentionally designed the entrance spaces to be low and confining to exaggerate the contrast with the dizzyingly tall central space. Writers of the time mentioned the "Oh my god!" effect as people moved from one to the other.
During its construction, seven separate labor strikes added more than a year and $1 million in interest charges to the total construction cost.
The Portman designed Antoine Graves Annex served as the model for the hotel with its atrium lobby around which apartments are reached via balconies overlooking the central space.
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