July 10, 1996
Interview from the Village: Taz's Tower
His name is Taz Anderson, and he's building what he describes as "the only [Olympic] structure [that will be] left standing six months from now." Named simply The Tower, Anderson's latest contribution to the city's skyline (he's also the guy behind the two giant peaches) is a viewing tower set next to the downtown connector, nestled in behind the Varsity and across the highway from Georgia Tech.
Love it or hate it, it definitely is a striking sight as you reach the downtown connector on a drive into the city. However, surprisingly, it's not ACOG's doing; Anderson is building The Tower without the permission, suggestion, or even communication with ACOG.
"I haven't been contacted by ACOG. The only thing I've heard [about their reaction], is what I've read in the paper."Anderson bought the land last year (it has been a vacant lot for many years). Construction began late Spring, with an estimated construction cost of $2 million dollars.
The tower is still undergoing final touches (wet paint!) in preparation for its grand opening Monday night, when the torch will by lit by external lights and fiber optic cabling. The lighting equipment, described as very high tech, will give the illusion of a random flickering flame.
A journey to the top of the twelve story tall permanent structure will cost you $2, a mere
1.28 cents per step -- there are 156 steps in all, enough that you might need
to take a rest stop on the way up. Hours of operation, at least
during the Olympics, will be from 10am-10pm.
As you can see, I got a chance to go up in the tower and get a few snapshots
to boot. My first impression is that it's not as high up as I thought it
would be; but on second thought, I probably would have been a bit weak in
the knees if it were any taller. You have a good view of downtown (rivaling
the 5th and North Avenue views), but only a fair to poor view of midtown.
However, Anderson promises that sunsets, viewed over the Tech campus,