This park was the center piece of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and also infamous for the bombing here during the games. The area was full of rundown and vacant building prior to the Olympics and is now the tourist center of the city.
Centennial Olympic Park’s neighborhood was a run-down part of town. That all began to change on the day Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games CEO Billy Payne gazed out his office window and a brilliant inspiration came to him – to convert a multi-block eyesore into a glorious gathering spot for visitors and residents to enjoy during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and for years to come. Atlanta responded to that vision with tremendous support. The estimated $75 million in development costs came entirely from private-sector donations – contributions in the form of commemorative bricks, funds raised by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and local philanthropic foundation grants.
Following the Olympic Games, a large portion of the park was closed and redesigned for daily public use. A gala commemoration weekend in March 1998 introduced the newly landscaped Park and its expanded amenities.
Today, this unique 21-acre park performs a dual mission: it serves as Georgia’s lasting legacy of the Centennial Olympic Games and it anchors efforts to revitalize residential and commercial development in Georgia’s capital city of Atlanta. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority has operational responsibility for Centennial Olympic Park, as well as the Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center.
The Park sponsors community-wide free events, including the Fourth of July Celebration, Music@Noon, the Wednesday Wind Down concert series, and Park Market. The Park also hosts festivals, fundraisers and private events.
The Fountain of Rings is the centerpiece of Centennial Olympic Park and is one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Georgia. Millions of international and local guests visit the Park every year to enjoy the world’s largest interactive fountain featuring the Olympic Ring symbol. Its photographic image also greets millions of visitors at the Atlanta Airport and delights a new generation as the State’s representative on the latest Here & Now Monopoly game board. It’s free to view the Fountain of Rings show, which plays four times a day, 365 days a year, at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
I found these quick facts about Centennial Park interesting, so I'll share:
Approximately 800,000 bricks were used in the construction of the 21-acre Park. Laid end-to-end, lengthwise, the bricks would stretch from New York City to Philadelphia, approximately 100 miles. Laid sideways, the bricks would stretch for 50 miles.
There are roughly 486,000 engraved bricks.
Approximately 10,275,000 letters are engraved on the commemorative bricks in the Park. This is enough letters to spell out the first verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner” more than 20,000 times.
There is more than 30 miles of wire in the Park for lighting and power distribution.
There is more than 11 miles of underground irrigation to service the Park’s three water features.
50 different subcontractors worked on the Park, requiring an estimated 200,000 man-hours to construct. This is the equivalent of one man working full-time for 100 years.
Granite from each of the five continents represented in the Olympic Games is used in the Park.
There are approximately 575 trees, 30,000 shrubs and 330,000 square feet of grass in the Park, enough to cover Turner field three times.
Centennial Olympic Park is the largest downtown park in the country developed in the last 25 years.
The Fountain of Rings is the world’s largest interactive fountain utilizing the Olympic symbol of five interconnecting Rings.
Each of the five Olympic Rings is 25 feet in diameter, large enough to comfortably park two cars side-by-side within each Ring.
The entire fountain, from outside Ring edge to outside Ring edge, is 82.5 feet in length.
About 5,000 gallons of water per minute is recycled through the Fountain, enough to fill an average size swimming pool in five minutes. The entire water system is filtered once every 30-minutes.
Water height during normal fountain operation can reach 12 feet. During the Fountain Show, sprays can be anywhere from 15 to 30 feet tall. The computerized Fountain can be programmed with special announcements as well as a variety of water displays including low-pressure, walk-through “water curtains”, fog and misting.
There are 251 submersible color changing light fixtures with 4 bulbs each in clear, amber, blue and red as well as a new digital sound system including 26 three-way, weather resistant speakers with subwoofers
The Fountain’s 251 computer-controlled water jets (125 stream and 126 aeration), 410 fog jets, 1004 lights bulbs and miles of underground water pipes make the Fountain of Rings one of the most sophisticated fountains in the world.
My family and I recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Centennial Park. We were impressed with the staff everyone-front desk, housekeeping, maintenance workers, valets, dining staff-was polite and helpful. Our room was clean and updated and comfortable. We enjoyed the convenient location and could walk to three of the attractions we had come to see. We had breakfast here and the food was delicious. There is a nice little outdoor area for eating in warmer weather. Great atmosphere. Monuments are exceptional a real feel for the Olympics. Highly Recommend the dancing fountain, and the this is the best place to take your children. My kids really enjoyed and we will definitely be back!
This is a downtown park which has a lot going for it, especially these fountains in the summer---a great place, free, to take the kids when in town for some energy releasing fun...There are places to eat close by as well, so make an afternoon of it. Sometimes they have concerts here---I have seen Tito Puente and others in the past.
I was suprised to find an amazing playground in Centennial Park. Designed for children of all physical abilities, there is one very important rule: All Adults MUST be accompanied by a Child. The playground is located on Baker Street at the far end of the park.
Certainly, there are the expected swing sets and sliding boards but there were several pieces of playground equipment I had never seen before. My favorite of these, looked like giant tulips growing at an angle out of the ground. The top was a seat that would spin around and around with no effort, once one sat down. Then there was the "Sway Fun" which had seats on two sides and room to rock back and forth.
Great fun for kids and adults alike. If one is visiting Atlanta during the summer months, this will provide a refreshing break from the humid weather. Any other time of the year, it provides a beautiful display.
Designed for the 1996 Olympic Games, the fountain uses 251 water jets that reach a height of 12-35 feet in the air. Fountain Shows are at 12:30p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 9:00p.m. as of May 2010. The rest of the time, the fountain is free-flowing and open to run through. Located on Andrew Young International Boulevard, which runs through the center of the park.
Less than twenty years ago, the area that is now Centennial Olympic Park was a run-down part of town. It was decided to convert this land for visitors and residents to enjoy during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and for future generations.
After the Olympic Games, a large part of the park was closed and redesigned for daily public use. The park is now used for a variety of events, including the Fourth of July Celebration, Wednesday Wind Down concert series and Fourth Saturday Family Fun Days.
This is the hang out for families and locals to come downtown and enjoy the day, mostly weekends. It was made for the Olympics in 1996. A nice area that is not real big but feels spread out. From there you can visit many sites downtown. The outcropping of this was a new development just north of 150 acres, and now called Atlantic Station, an urban mixed use complex of living quarters, retail and commercial centers and events.
Celebrating Atlanta Olympic 1996, this rundown part of the town was converted into a new city's attraction. Apart from the Olympic memorial sculptures, I'd say Centennial Park is the best place to see Atlanta skyline. And most of the tourist attractions; e.g. World of Coca-Cola, Aqarium, CNN, Philips Arena are clustered within this area. There're occational free concerts in Summer / Fall, and ice-skating rink in the Winter. Btw...avoid this area after dark, except on specific holidays (when they have special light shows)
As with every major city, Atlanta has a wonderful park downtown to provide a scenic place to rest your feet after seeing some of the other attractions in the city. My friend and I stopped to grab a bottle of water ($4.00!) at a small stand and sat down near the water fountain to watch some goofy college students run through the many jets of water. Definitely an entertaining break between sites!
World and Coca-Cola and the Atlanta Aquarium are at one end of the Centennial Olympic Park. At this end also is a children's play equipment area, and nearby is another monument. I arrived in the late afternoon and both the aquarium and World of Coca Cola were closed. Both appear to be definetly worthwhile to visit though. One Atlanta resident claimed the aquarium is the world's largest, but I've heard this claim before in other cities.
The brick and concrete paved areas are bordered by expanse of lawn areas where families can toss frizbee and appreciate the skyline of the city in the background. In the geographical center of centennial park is a bronze and stone monument to the modern founder of the Olympics.