ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) A $27 million dollar investment in downtown Atlanta is changing the look and feel of the city’s famous front yard.
The money subtracted some of Centennial Olympic Park's real estate. But what it added is worth a long visit. If you're in Gwinnett or Cobb, Buckhead or Midtown, you'll likely see a new entrance first at the corner of Baker Street.
A soaring statue and steps beyond a reflecting pond invite visitors come on in.
Todd Hill, the landscape architect with DTJ Design, took out two buildings, a road and two parking lots.
The famous road beside the splashing fountains over Olympic Rings is a promenade now.
They've taken out the curbs and car traffic, making it safer for splashers. Subtracting parking lots adds green lawns and plazas.
A new granite slab thanks the donors who gave $22 million private dollars to the Georgia state donation of $5 million improve the park.
A life sized statue of Olympic visionary Billy Payne sits in the True Believer’s Grove.
Now, a special entrance highlights the Paralympics. And Todd Hill's designer eye moved a Spanish sculpture and extended splashing water throughout the park. Here is how he describes the new corner:
“Urban, contemporary nature of the granite and the stainless steel, plus at night with the lighting, it's an updated, modern solution for displaying this beautiful beautiful piece of sculpture.”
More grass, more shade, more water. Fewer cars, fewer buildings and what is not to like?
It is a fresh invitation to enjoy the green heart of downtown Atlanta.