Abandoned Atlanta Constitution building featuring public art catches fire

Abandoned building is beloved by architecture buffs and served as canvas for last year's Elevate art program


  • Courtney Hammond
  • Atlanta police arrived on scene to find smoke coming from building's fourth floor.

Atlanta Police have arrested two men after a fire started early this morning at the abandoned Atlanta Constitution building on Alabama and Forsyth streets in south downtown.

Atlanta Police officers responded to the building around 8 a.m. to investigate a reported fire. Upon arriving, officers observed smoke coming from the fourth floor of the building, which is beloved by architecture buffs and served as a canvas for Adrian Barzaga as part of the city's Elevate art program.

Atlanta Fire and Rescue extinguished the fire. No one was injured, fire and police officials say. City officials are examining the damage to Barzaga's wooden façade installation.

According to the APD, officers detained several witnesses seen exiting the rear of the abandoned building, which is marked with "no trespassing" signs. Officers found that "forced entrance had been made to the secured building with a path that led to MARTA's platform, without authorization." Police arrested Michael Miller, 42, and Gregory McGriff, 46, for criminal trespass and transported them to the Fulton County Jail.

The future of the building, which briefly housed the Atlanta Constitution before it merged with the Atlanta Journal, and later housed offices of Georgia Power offices and some tenants, is uncertain. Plans for a downtown train terminal once called for the building, the only surviving art moderne style building of its size and scale in Atlanta, to be razed. However, the new team that's developing the mammoth project said last year that they'd like to preserve or incorporate the building into the terminal's design.