News / 9.1.16

Throwback Thursday – Air Host Inn

A grand example of ‘Googie’ architecture which is a form of design influenced by the Space and Atomic Age

Today, our weekly Throwback Thursday trip through Epstein's 95 year old archives takes us back to Atlanta in August of 1961 for the opening of the iconic Air Host Inn. Featuring a 'futuristic' Epstein designed and engineered executive club, comprised of structural steel and a glass enclosed curtainwall, the Air Host Inn was located on Virginia Avenue adjacent to what is now known as Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Air Host Inn was planned as a hotel that would meet all the needs of the 'modern' air traveler including design elements like a spacious lobby, numerous dining areas, cocktail lounges (including the Three Hearths – Cloud 9 Lounge!), meeting rooms, and the aforementioned Executive Club, which was an exclusive conference/socializing space. The Air Host Inn also featured 150 rooms as well as an outdoor pool and patio.

This building is also a pretty nice example of 'Googie' architecture which is a form of design influenced by the Space and Atomic Age, think The Jetsons. The 'Googie' names comes from the late 40s when architect John Lautner designed Googies, a West Hollywood coffee shop that featured many of the design traits seen in this futuristic architectural style.

Alas, like most examples of 'Googie' architecture, the Air Host Inn no longer exists having gotten swallowed up by ATL as the airport has gone through a seeming never ending expansion over the past 50 years. To get a sense of how much has changed at ATL – here's an aerial photo from 61 showing the Air Host Inn near the main entrance to what was then a quaint airport...

And here's what ATL looks like in 2016…

The Stones were so right – 'Time waits for no one.'