Stop 8 | Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Georgia Tech

Aerial View of Alexander Memorial Coliseum
Unidentified photography, Atlanta, circa 1996
Georgia Amateur Athletic Foundation Collection, Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center

Opened: 1956 | In use 

Now called McCamish Pavilion, the arena was originally built in 1956 and named in honor of Georgia Tech football coach William Alexander. The unique structure was considered a feat of engineering at the time, as the most striking feature was the massive tin-domed roof supported by steel ribs. Upon entering the old arena, spectators walked down to their seats in the sunken interior, which provided for unobstructed views.  

Since its construction, the facility has undergone numerous renovations, but retained prominent view of its iconic large dome until the most recent overhaul. The venue has always been the home of Georgia Tech’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. It was selected to host boxing competitions for the ’96 Olympic Games and standing volleyball for the Paralympic Games. In advance of these events, Olympic organizers funded a multi-million-dollar renovation of the space, which included installing the arena’s first air-conditioning system.  

In 2010, Georgia Tech initiated a major renovation and renaming of the venue. This initiative fixed structural issues for the aging building and changed the facades of the venue so it looks much different today from street level.