In Atlanta, the Fourth of July means two things: the Lenox Square fireworks show and the Peachtree Road Race. Every year 60,000 people run, jog, walk, and stumble their way 6.2 miles down Peachtree Street, from Buckhead to Midtown. Their prize at the end of the journey? A t-shirt and bragging rights.
It's a tradition that adds to Peachtree's position as Main Street Atlanta. During the post-Civil War era, Peachtree Street near downtown was considered the most fashionable address for a grand home. Of course today you can still own a residence on Peachtree, but it'll more likely be a condo or townhouse. Here's a look at some of the housing offerings racers will pass on their way to the finish line.
Not far from the starting point at Lenox Square are a couple of the most exclusive condo towers in Buckhead, Sovereign and the Mansion on Peachtree. Both offer pricey units but in very different packages, with Sovereign being a lesson in contemporary glass architecture and the Mansion displaying the classical style of Robert A.M Stern. Nearby, Realm is a more affordable Novare-built high rise. At the corner of Peachtree and Piedmont Road are the condos at Terminus, a mixed use project containing restaurants, retail, and office space.
Crossing Piedmont, your eye is drawn to the distinctive curved shape of The Phoenix on Peachtree high rise. Next to it is the Alhambra, a 1920s apartment building as interesting as its name. Further down is Gallery, which true to its title features a rotating exhibit of sculpture and paintings from Atlanta galleries. Soon after, racers will hit Jesus Junction, a bend in the road named for its churches. Here Peachtree becomes less commercial and more residential. Park Place (where Elton John maintains a pied-a-terre) and Plaza Towers are oldies but goodies in this stretch. 2500 Peachtree is a grand European-inspired building set behind an historic Peachtree home, the Randolph Lucas House. There are quite a few options for townhomes around here, from older developments such as Muscogee Place to newer options including The Bellingrath, Regents Park, and the Enclave on Peachtree.
Nearing Cardiac Hill (runners will find this an appropriate nickname), the Aramore and the Astoria are site of a couple of restaurant hits, Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch. If they can make it past the incline, participants will pass The Brookwood before crossing over I-85 into Midtown. Rhodes Hall appears after a bend in the road as one of the few surviving Peachtree mansions, and not far from there the Reid House condominium sits within view of the High Museum. It's a 1924 brick and limestone beauty designed by that favorite Atlanta society architect, Neel Reid. The Colony Square complex at 14th and Peachtree was the first mixed use project in the Southeast, and the condos there are housed in concrete slabs that bear a striking resemblance to the Unite d'Habitation. Further down, 1010 Peachtree is notable for the way its glass facade hugs the curve in Peachtree. The base of the building contains some great restaurants and a location of the CB2 furniture brand. It's part of the 12th and Midtown project, a key component of the Midtown Mile vision.
At 10th Street, the race nears its end, but one block down are two very different complexes worth mentioning. The first is Metropolis, a glass building with retail and restaurants on the ground level. Across from Metropolis are the Palmer & Phelan and Cotting Court buildings. These were built side by side 90 years apart but in very similar English styles, brick with stone accents.
The Peachtree Road Race gives a nice tour of Atlanta's most desirable urban addresses. If you don't feel like working up a sweat, you can take a helicopter tour by clicking here. There's always another chance next year...