Stop 15 | Georgia World Congress Center

Land Just to the South of the Future Centennial Olympic Park

Land Just to the South of the Future Centennial Olympic Park
L to R: Georgia Dome, Omni Coliseum, Georgia World Congress Center (rear), CNN Center
Unidentified photographer, Atlanta, March 1995
Georgia Amateur Athletic Foundation Collection, Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center

Aerial View of Georgia World Congress Center

Aerial View of Georgia World Congress Center
Unidentified photographer, Atlanta, March 1989
Georgia Amateur Athletic Foundation Collection, Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center

Preparations for the Bobbin Show

Preparations for the Bobbin Show
First convention in the Georgia World Congress Center
Unidentified photographer, Atlanta, 1976
Courtesy Georgia World Congress Center Authority

Opened: 1976 | Renovated: 1985, 1992, 2002 | Still in use

Designed by the same firm as the Omni Coliseum, TVS Design, the state-owned Georgia World Congress Center was the largest convention center in the country when it opened in 1976. The state authority that planned this center still operates it today, along with Centennial Olympic Park and other surrounding convention and venue resources.

Its construction enabled Atlanta to attract more prominent conferences, trade shows, and entertainment acts. Within a few years, Atlanta’s convention industry ranked third largest in the U.S., behind New York City and Chicago. The Center kicked off its career with the Bobbin Show, a trade show for the garment industry. Since the doors initially opened, it has seen numerous large traveling events and conferences. The original Center has expanded over the decades, adding new wings, buildings, and parking decks.

Fun Finds

Much of this section of downtown Atlanta is built well above ground level. As you make your way around the Georgia World Congress Center campus, take a look at the various levels of viaducts and peer down to the ground level that used to be a core area of railroad infrastructure.