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monsoon

Atlanta's Lost Indoor Amusement Park

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Many of you living in Atlanta may have taken a tour of the CNN Center and noticed a few odd things about its layout. What you may not realize is this layout is due to the fact this was the location of the World Sid and Marty Krofft indoor amusement park that was in operation in the late 1970s. Before there was Bill Hemmer, Wolf Blitzer and the like inhabiting the building, there was Witchiepoo and HR Puffenstuff. LOL

The construction of this amusement park was one of the highlights of Atlanta's rise to a nationally recognizable and major city. (and ending 100 years of Southern post war stagnation)

Though I never visited this place I do remember reading about it in Time magazine and how it was a unique attraction in the USA. At the time Sid & Krofft characters were as well known as Disney's and those on Looney Tunes so the building of this place was a major coup for Atlanta.

Here is a map of the amusement park.

http://www.mocedades.com/temp/kmap101.jpg

More Information here.

and here.

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Fascinating!

Who knew? I will never view the CNN Center the same again.

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I'm familiar with it, but I don't remember ever going. It closed when I was 3. Knowing my mother, I seriously doubt we ever went. The Omni was way ahead of it's time. Too far ahead, I think. In addition to the amusement park, there was a retail pavilion. It included mostly high end retailers like Hermes and Tiffany. When Tom Cousins built The Omni, he had hoped that it would revitalize Midtown/Downtown Atlanta. Part of his plan called for a MARTA rail stop near The Omni. Despite a promise from the mayor (Sam Massell) that he would get a stop, it didn't happen. That pretty much killed the retail portion of the Omni. Anyway, I have a point. Although the arena was successful, his plan was seen as a complete failure. Tom Cousins has since come full circle. He's now responsible for a lot of the development and revitalization that is happening in DT and MT. So, all this development we see now started with the Omni and that silly amusement park that no one ever visted. :)

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wow that's really interesting. I've been to the CNN center but never really gave it thought as to why it looks the way it does.

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I never really noticed the layout, I just thought it was normal. I did notice that the land is pretty hilly.

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I never really noticed the layout, I just thought it was normal. I did notice that the land is pretty hilly.

Also don't forget that the CNN Center used to have an ice-skating rink in the same place where people sit down to a meal from one of the indoor eateries prior to attending a Thrashers game.

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Lord, I'm gonna have to show my age again and admit that I've been there. Although I'm personally not the amusement park type, my child was a big fan of H.R. Puffnstuff so we took him there. My recollection is that the attraction, which to me seemed kind of goofy, folded almost immediately. As others have pointed out, the Omni also had an ice rink (yes, busted my... er, shins there), a retail mall and some good restaurants. There was a nice Italian place which was said to be favored by those who were not in the mood to work on Friday afternoons but of course that is hearsay as to me personally and I can't remember the name of the place anyway.

:whistling:

In many ways the 70s and early 80s were not a bad time to be downtown. Not many people lived there but many businesses were still there and the after-work scene was quite lively. Places like the Kimball House, Dante's, the Mugs (Big and Little), Leb's, Herren's, and Fitzgerald's all had very active happy hours, and you could usually find convivial gatherings at the Commerce Club or the Atlanta City Club (precursor to the 191). There was even a Playboy Club down on Luckie.

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Andrea, really - thanks for sharing those memories you have. People do need to be reminded more often that it wasn't THAT long ago that downtown was functional, it was a place where you could spend some time during & after work.

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Andrea, really - thanks for sharing those memories you have. People do need to be reminded more often that it wasn't THAT long ago that downtown was functional, it was a place where you could spend some time during & after work.

Thanks, teshadoh. As I reflect a bit, it really wasn't long ago at all that downtown was the center of commerce. The first big law firm to move away from Five Points was Alston & Bird, and I think that was in 1987. I mentioned earlier that, at the time, people were aghast that a prestigious law firm would consider moving way out to Midtown! In the 1990s there were further shockwaves when Kilpatrick Stockton moved to 1100 Peachtree, and Troutman Sanders moved up to North Avenue.

I worked downtown from 1975 to 1987, and in that era it was very much the place to be. MARTA was opening, the Flames always sold out the Omni, and buildings such as the Peachtree Plaza, Georgia Pacific, the Marriott Marquis and the Marquis Towers, the new library, the Hilton, the Ritz Carlton, the Richard B. Russell building and 101 Marietta were coming online. Downtown retail was pretty strong, too -- Macy's and Rich's were flagship stores, and it was easy to stop into J.P. Allen or Regenstein's at lunch. The gents bought their suits at Muse's, Stockton's or Brooks Brothers. There were lots of places to grab an inexpensive lunch, such as the counter at Woolworth's, Tasty Town, the S&W Cafeteria on Peachtree, or at deli's such as Harold's or Timberlake's. You could easily walk over to Ivan Allen for office supplies, and I believe all the major banks were headquartered downtown. We did a lot of work for Crawford Long, and I can recall strolling from our office near Woodruff Park to meetings up at the hospital.

Anyway, enough with the nostalgia for now. Obviously many big accounting, financial and legal businesses have remained committed to downtown, and it is only today that you see stalwarts such as K&S or Powell Goldstein either moving or thinking about moving. On the way home from church this morning I took a little time to meander through downtown, and from an appearance standpoint very little has changed. As much as I enjoy seeing all the new towers sprouting in Midtown and Buckhead, I sometimes have to wonder whether we have really learned to make better cities.

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