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Visit to Atlanta: Coke, CNN and Aquarium
Atlanta, the urban core of one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States, is home to Fortune 500 companies like to CNN and Coca-Cola. Siliconeer visited both heaquarters, and took a side trip to the aquarium. A Siliconeer report.
(Above): The majestic lobby at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. [Siliconeer photo]
Atlanta has a pretty grim history, so its revival as a beacon of the New South is all the more remarkable.
On September 1, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood evacuated Atlanta after a four-month siege mounted by Union General William T. Sherman and ordered all public buildings destroyed. The next day, Mayor James Calhoun surrendered the city, and on Sept. 7 Sherman ordered the civilian population to evacuate. He then ordered Atlanta burned to the ground on Nov. 11 in preparation for his march south.
Atlanta has come a long way since then.
Considered a top business city and transportation hub, Atlanta is the world headquarters of Coca-Cola, AT&T Mobility, CNN and Delta Air Lines. The surrounding area contains additional corporate headquarters, including Home Depot and UPS. Atlanta has the nation’s third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is located seven miles south of downtown Atlanta, is the world’s busiest airport.
(Above): The ocean is a colorful world. Numerous species of fish are seen at one of the world’s largest aquariums, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. [Siliconeer photo]
In the 1960s, Atlanta was a major organizing center of the civil rights movement, as Dr. Martin Luther King and students from Atlanta’s historically black colleges and universities played major roles in the movement’s leadership.
In 1990, Atlanta was selected as the site for the 1996 Summer Olympics, becoming the third American city to host the Summer Olympics, though the games themselves were marred by numerous organizational inefficiencies, as well as the Centennial Olympic Park bombing.
(Above): The lobby of the World of Coca Cola in Atlanta. [Siliconeer photo]
Siliconeer presents glimpses of three of the more popular tourist sites of the city.
CNN Center. If you have any interest in broadcast journalism, you cannot but like this, though for obvious reasons, you may find that the tour for visitors does not go far enough, and tends to initiate rather than satiate your curiosity.
The studio tour treats visitors to a behind-the scenes look at the live newsrooms in action. The tour features history and trivia as well as interactive exhibits that put visitors in the control room and at the anchor desk of their own television newscast.
(Above): A picture of Mona Lisa with an Ipod and Coke at the World of Coca Cola. [Siliconeer photo]
The CNN Center is headquarters for CNN, CNN International, and Headline News. During 55-minute guided walking tours, visitors get a behind-the-scenes look at the high-tech world of 24-hour TV network news in action.
While you’re waiting for the tour to begin, you can have a videotape made of yourself reading the day’s top stories from behind a CNN anchor desk. The tour starts in an exhibit area where you’ll find timelines covering the history of CNN and Turner Broadcasting, interactive kiosks where you can surf the CNN Web sites or access clips from the top 100 stories that CNN has covered, memorabilia from some of those events, and a journalism ethics display. A theater that re-creates CNN’s main control room allows you to experience the behind-the-scenes elements of a news broadcast.
(Above): A display of various Coke vending machines developed over the years, on display at the World of Coca Cola. [Siliconeer photo]
The World of Coca Cola. A paean to the real thing, it’s a permanent exhibition featuring the history of The Coca-Cola Company and its well-known advertising as well as a host of entertainment areas and attractions. It is located at Pemberton Place, named in honor of John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola, a 20-acre complex located across Baker Street from Centennial Olympic Park that also includes the Georgia Aquarium. It opened to the public in May 2007, relocating from and replacing the original exhibit.
(Above): The poster of ‘Titanic Aquatic’ — an exhibit from the remains of the ill-fated oceanliner Titanic. The exhibit has objects procured from the ocean floor where the Titanic now rests. [Siliconeer photo]
Georgia Aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium is one of the world’s largest. Over 100,000 fish are displayed in five galleries and 60 habitats in the more than 500,000 square foot building; there is a 6.2 million gallon pool in which 1.8 million pounds of salt and minerals have been dissolved since last October and in which two whale sharks — the world’s largest fish — swim, displaying themselves to visitors through acrylic walls that are two feet thick. A stainless steel “commissary” behind the scenes holds 20,000 pounds of frozen food at minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
This aquarium is almost completely the creation of a single man, Bernard Marcus, co-founder of the Home Depot, as a “gift” to the people of the city in which his company began.
(Above): Live jellyfish at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. [Siliconeer photo]
(Above): A retro Coke van on display at the World of Coca Cola. [Siliconeer photo]