Centennial Olympic Park

Atlanta, United States

Centennial Olympic Park

Centennial Olympic Park is a 22-acre (89,000 m2) public park located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, owned and operated by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. It was built by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) as part of the infrastructure improvements for the 1996 Summer Olympics. It plays host to millions of visitors a year and several events, including a summer popular music concert series (Wednesday WindDown) and an annual Independence Day concert and fireworks display.

The park property had previously been a variety of vacant lots and abandoned or run-down industrial buildings. ACOG's chief executive, Billy Payne, conceived the park both as a central gathering location for visitors and spectators during the Olympics and as a lasting legacy for the city. With the park being the showcase to the world during the Olympics, ACOG decided to hold a design competition to lay out and build the park. Landscape Architect EDAW, with the joint construction team of Beers/Russell, were selected to design and build the park by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. Centennial Olympic Park was constructed in two phases. Phase I of construction was completed July 1996, just in time for 1996 Olympic Summer Games at a cost of US$28 million. During the Olympics, the park contained sponsor exhibits, hosted entertainment and medal presentations, and was a hotbed for pin trading. Phase II construction took place shortly after the Olympics were over and was completed during the following year, in 1998, at the cost of US$15 million.

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