A look inside Atlanta’s halls of power

Where the strings are pulled and the wheels are turned
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Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti

Gold Dome
The state capitol building, which first opened its doors July 3, 1889, is a mix of Classical and Renaissance styles rendered in limestone, Georgia marble, oak paneling, and plaster filigrees, topped with Dahlonega gold leaf. Inside the lower chamber, 180 part-time state representatives pass budgets and shape policies, while lobbyists stand outside in the elegant marble hallways.

Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti

Tyler Perry Studios
If Atlanta is the Hollywood of the South, then entertainment mogul Tyler Perry is our Sam Goldwyn. He oversees his Madea empire from a 200,000-square-foot complex, complete with a 400-seat theater and chapel. Located near Greenbriar Mall, the studio’s backlot, restored after a major fire in 2012, is where many exterior scenes are shot.

Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti

AJC newsroom
In recent years, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has abandoned the city center for the suburbs, all while gradually reducing its newsroom by more than half. As former managing editor Hank Klibanoff puts it, “Any editor is going to walk into the newsroom overwhelmed by the stories you’re not going to cover.” While it may no longer cover Dixie like the dew, the paper remains the largest news-gathering force in the state, and how the editors (including chief editor Kevin Riley, second from left) choose to marshal their remaining forces can swing elections, prompt indictments, and shift the balance of power in the region.

Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti

City Hall
The elevator in the older half of Atlanta City Hall goes only to the 15th floor of the neo-Gothic tower, built in 1930. There’s actually a floor atop that, though—a vast empty space that offers panoramic views of the city. During Andrew Young’s administration, the city added a modern annex with a soaring atrium.

Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti
Photograph by Andrea Fremiotti

Back to Atlanta’s 55 Most Powerful

This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.

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