Constructed in 1908, The Georgian building originally opened its doors as “Hotel Georgian” in early 1909. As the first luxury hotel in the local region, Hotel Georgian was hailed as “The Pride of Athens” and served as the focal point for social activity for well over 50 years. With its marvelous architecture and luxurious state-of-the-art design, the hotel was the place to stay for elite travelers coming to, or passing through, the city of Athens. The Grand Ballroom, located on the lobby level of the hotel, served as the site for numerous celebratory functions and prominent events throughout its rich history. Sadly, with the rise of the franchised motel industry in the ‘60s and the abrupt relocation of most downtown commercial operations, the hotel began to struggle financially. In 1975, after several years of steady decline and neglect to building maintenance, the once-famed Hotel Georgian officially closed its doors.

When the building was eventually purchased by a redevelopment company and renovated in 1984, the 100 hotel rooms located on the upper floors were converted into condominiums. As it has since it’s post-renovation reopening in 1986, it now serves as a residential location, but with commercial operations on the lobby level. In 2016, a local restaurateur who undertook a major restoration of the space obtained the historic ballroom. After months of work and with the help of local craftsmen and artists, The Grand Ballroom was reopened yet again, operating under the name Georgian Hall. Proudly exposing its original stained glass Palladian windows, restored mosaic tile floors, + statement-worthy black walnut doors, Georgian Hall was nominated for, and won, an “Outstanding Restoration” award from the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation, a local preservation organization, in 2016. The newly revived, yet classic, ballroom continues to enchant guests from all over the country serving once again as a social focal spot here in The Classic City.

Photos courtesy of Hargrett Rare & Special Collections Library