The Candler Building is one of the most historic buildings in downtown Atlanta. Now, it has taken on a new life as a boutique hotel.
Last week, the Candler Hotel Atlanta opened its doors to guests. The first day was business as usual in the 113-year-old building. Business travelers roamed the Amicalola marbleized lobby.
General manager Martin Wormull knows the significance of the Candler Building.
“I think people had sort of an affinity to it over the years,” Wormull said. “Quite a few famous people such as Mr. Johnnie Cochran had his law firm here. And, people know it as the building on the end of Peachtree Street.”
The Candler Building was built in 1906 by Coca-Cola magnate and former Mayor Asa Griggs Candler. The Beaux-Arts building stood on the site of one of Atlanta oldest churches. It was the city’s first skyscraper. At the time, it was the city’s tallest structure at 17 stories.
The Candler Building was more than just a home to Coca-Cola headquarters. It also housed Candler’s Central Bank and Trust, spa, barbershop, and a saloon.
REM Associates eventually purchased the building and rented office space in recent years. The owners thought the building needed new life. They felt converting it into a hotel was the perfect solution while still preserving its history. The hotel features 265 rooms, with 7,000 square feet of meeting space, and a full-service restaurant.
The restaurant, By George, is named after the building’s architect, George E. Murphy, and his assistant, George Stewart. The menu consists of mostly French dishes. Leading the kitchen staff is Georgia-based chef Hugh Acheson. The former Top Chef contestant said the restaurant wasn’t the only thing that attracted him to the hotel.
“You’ll come across related carts and busts. And then you look outside and see the griffins adorning the building. It’s just one of those buildings you really need to look up,” Acheson said.
Like Acheson, owners hope the building’s history and architecture will attract guests. Wormull said he’s expecting more than just business travelers to stay at the Candler Hotel.
“We expect to see a lot of locals drive-in on staycations on weekends. We will have a lot of business from the conventions that are in the city and a lot of sports events that are happening in the city as well,” Wormull said. He said they will also be partnering with other downtown businesses.