In September 1992, a family festival with opera performances and puppetry marked the opening of Atlanta’s tallest building: NationsBank Plaza, a 55-story colossus of red granite and glass, topped with a skeletal golden pyramid of girders. Not everyone was enamored. One critic called the building’s shaft “conventional,” while noting its apex “looks peculiarly like a pencil.” Today the building is emblematic of changing fortunes. Rechristened Bank of America Plaza after a series of corporate mergers, it changed hands again in a 2012 foreclosure sale. While it remains the tallest U.S. building outside of Chicago and New York, it also remains half empty.
This article originally appeared in our March 2015 issue.