|Photo © Keven C. Rose|
For the city of Atlanta, the legacy of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games goes deeper than the moments of triumph and tragedy, including the pipe bomb attack that killed two and injured 110. The $1.8 billion spent on infrastructural improvements and construction has actively contributed to Atlanta's transformation into a modern-day metropolis.
While some of this funding was directed at infrastructure, much went into new facilities, including the 17-building Olympic Village, built on the Georgia Institute of Technology's (Georgia Tech) campus. The $169 million project, by Niles Bolton Associates, provided housing, dining, medical, and practice facilities for 14,000 athletes, coaches, and officials. Today, it's used as housing for Georgia Tech and Georgia State University students.
Three other projects also stand out: The $189 million Centennial Olympic Stadium, once an 85,000-seat venue, is now the 49,800-seat Turner Field, home to the Atlanta Braves baseball team. The $214 million Georgia Dome, which housed gymnastics, basketball, and other events, is now home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. Today, the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park—designed by EDAW (now AECOM)—is the hub of Atlanta's tourism industry, with such attractions as the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium.
Though the games lasted just 17 days, they marked the beginning of Atlanta's ongoing transformation.