The old yellow building has served as Atlanta’s first parking garage, a saw mill, the city symphony’s rehearsal space and the first permanent building on Georgia State University downtown campus.
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Kell Hall Timeline
Opened as the Ivy Street Garage, the first parking garage in Atlanta.
Enrollment at the Atlanta Center’s Evening College spikes with the flood of veterans returning from World War II and it quickly outgrows its only classroom building on Luckie Street.
College President George Sparks sees potential in the parking structure, also known as the Bolling Jones Building, and purchases the six-story, 180,000-square-foot building for $296,000.
The parking garage ramps remain — viewed as an asset for veterans with disabilities returning from the war — and became a signature feature of the school, which later name its yearbook “Rampway.”
Classes began in the new building in March. The school occupies only two floors at first and leases the remaining space.
Other tenants include Southern Bell Telephone Co., Franklin Tire Co., a sawmill, the state Board of Regents and the teachers’ retirement system.
In the building’s first few years, the sixth floor is used as rehearsal space for the new Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and also houses two bowling alleys.
The building is dedicated as Kell Hall, after the first dean of the Georgia Tech Evening School of Commerce, the school that would become Georgia State University.
Kell Hall today houses the Geosciences, Chemistry and Biology departments, as well as research labs, and connects to Sparks Hall, Langdale Hall and the Arts and Humanities building.
Source: Georgia State University