Buckhead's Plaza Towers are like glowing ADAC-sourced lanterns for quite a few of Atlanta's design moths. The 1969 twin buildings of minimalist concrete are home to an unusual number of interior designers (or decorators, depending on who you're talking to), purveyors of fine goods, and all around taste makers. The strong Modern aesthetic combined with a prime Buckhead location creates a perfect nesting place for those who are in the business of beauty. In fact, Atlanta’s own Museum of Design, or MODA, was quoted as crowning Plaza Towers “Atlanta’s best example of mid-century architecture.” In honor of the complex's 40th birthday, MODA sponsored a tour of homes that highlighted the variety of intriguing living spaces at Plaza Towers. The spacious units contain a minimal amount of support columns and receive great natural light, factors that make for a perfect blank slate. How spacious, you ask? Try a maximum of four units per floor.
Although Plaza Towers is sometimes noted as Atlanta’s first residential highrise (22 floors), I think The Ponce may have an issue with that distinction. Interestingly enough, the complex was built as condos, but in 1969 Atlanta wasn’t ready for such a concept. I suppose homebuying isn't really on your mind when you're watching the Grateful Dead play in Piedmont Park. So, the buildings were leased as apartments until going being converted back to condos in 1979. Why am I giving you this history lesson? It means even though these are technically condo conversions, flimsy apartment construction is not an issue!
Each tower features its own 24/7 concierge, who occupy lobbies that were awarded for their renovation quality. Amenities include a conference room, exercise room with saunas, and a dog run, but my favorite has to be the three guest suites that you can rent for visitors. I like that concept because it keeps your guests close, but not too close, if you know what I mean. The Plaza Room is also a useful resident perk, providing event space equipped with a kitchen, wet bar, and (I can hear it now) a baby grand piano. It occupies the space of the Tango restaurant, which I read was quite the Atlanta hotspot in the 1970s. I willing to bet there was fondue involved.
Plaza Towers is situated in the Peachtree Heights East neighborhood at the corner of Peachtree Road and Lakeview Avenue. The namesake lake is actually the beloved Duck Pond, which sits just behind the complex and can be excruciatingly beautiful in spring and autumn. The view of Plaza Towers from the Duck Pond is a textbook example of the "towers in a park" concept promoted by Le Corbusier. Although his theory didn't always jive in the real world, here you get the sense that sometimes it worked very well. Who needs a yard when you have this gorgeous greenspace right outside your smart flat? The Buckhead address means shops, restaurants, and services are never far away. The Peachtree Battle Shopping Center is very nearby, as is another shopping plaza known as The Peach. Not too far north on Peachtree is the current reincarnation of the Buckhead Village, now know as “Buckhead Atlanta.” Beyond that lay the shopping meccas of Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.
Bottom line: few other buildings in Atlanta can compete with this offering of classic Mod sophistication in a such a sylvan setting.