How fitting that the taping of “Family Feud” staring Steve Harvey is about the only event left at Atlanta’s Civic Center.
Atlanta’s decision to sell the eroding landmark touched off a spat between Mayor Kasim Reed and city council members, who claim that Reed doesn’t keep them informed on such plans. The pique fizzled – the council approved the Civic Center sale on a 10-4 vote last week, the AJC reported. But a few dissidents are displeased that Invest Atlanta now can sell the 16-acre Civic Center site without council input.
Council members Felicia Moore, Alex Wan and Michael Bond and Council President Ceasar Mitchell are among those unhappy with the mayor’s unilateral action not only on the Civic Center but plans for Turner Field, Underground Atlanta and Fort McPherson and possibly Morris Brown College.
Underreported is how the Civic Center – named for philanthropist Boisfeulliet Jones a few years ago – sunk into such decline. Once the 4,600-seat arena, with 5,800 square feet of exhibit space, was a cultural jewel. Built in 1967, the Civic Center has welcomed traveling Broadway shows, the Atlanta Opera, national ballet companies, President George W. Bush and cultural events for the 1996 Olympics.
A highlight of an Atlanta childhood used to be birthday parties and other trips to SciTrek, the now defunct science museum that once thrived at the Civic Center. The tarnished old building, still the site of APS high school graduations, now loses $400,000 a year.
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