The Glenn History

The Glenn building at 110 Marietta Street, Atlanta Georgia, was built in 1923, and was named after John Thomas Glenn, a prominent attorney and the 31st mayor of Atlanta from 1889-1891.

The Glenn building was constructed on an historic site. According to the contemporary record of General Tecumseh Sherman’s march on Atlanta, the house on that site, which was owned and occupied by Major Hamilton Goode of the Confederate army, was spared.  It is significant to note that the intersection of Marietta and Spring Street was part of the original center of old Atlanta.

Starting in 1975 the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, by the authority of the City of Atlanta, undertook “a field survey of Atlanta’s historic resources by a team of researchers who identified sites within the city that may have historic and/or architectural significance.”  In its 1981 Atlanta Historic Resources Workbook, a photo and article appear as part of “the official roster of historic sites, structures and districts for the city.”  Again in 1987, the Commission updated the city’s inventory of historic sites and districts, which included the Glenn Building.

“A wave of new office development swept into downtown Atlanta on the heels of two events: the opening of the Spring Street viaduct, and the grading and paving of Spring Street out to Peachtree. The ten-story Glenn Building, commissioned by the George Fuller Company, was part of its growth, its construction coinciding with the opening of the new viaduct.”

“It is a rather severe building, with a smooth, limestone facing. Terra cotta detailing along the base and top stories of the structure, as well as a heavy cornice, create the only relief.”

The building was designed by the Washington, D. C. architect, Waddy B. Wood. “According to plans drawn up by Burge and Stevens, the Glenn Building was to have been part of a larger business complex, including additional office space and a garage with uniformed chauffeurs. The garage, which extends several stories under the Spring Street viaduct, was completed in 1928. The office addition, however, was never built.”

Richard Guy Wilson of the University of Virginia, calls the period of the 1920s and 1930s one of the great periods in American architecture and design. This period has been given different stylistic names, such as Art Deco, Modern classic, Stripped classic, Streamlined, PWA, and WPA. According to Robert M. Craig of Georgia Tech, the Glenn Building fits neatly and persuasively into this period as Modern Classic.

In 1986, the building owner began the process of nominating the Glenn Building to the National Register of Historic Places. Although the application was withdrawn due to a sale of the building to the Federal Reserve Bank, the National Park Service certified the building as eligible for the National Register.

In 2006, Legacy Property Group undertook a major redevelopment of the Glenn building creating the first boutique hotel in Downtown Atlanta.  The building was subsequently placed on the National Register of Historic Places and continues to proudly watch over the progress of Atlanta from the corner of Spring and Marietta streets.