In 1967, Atlanta architect and developer John Portman gave the city — my city — a certified civic symbol. It wasn’t as tall as the Empire State Building or as grand as the Golden Gate Bridge. But the new Hyatt Regency Atlanta, with the first-ever atrium lobby and a revolving restaurant on the top floor, shattered the old hotel mold. At the Hyatt, hallways had turned into balconies, and guests were encouraged to indulge in some “indoor sightseeing” — watching people ride up and down the glass-bubble elevators, for example, or sip cocktails amid the ferns and fountains below.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.