As seen in the view from the Decatur Street bridge, the elevated plaza system effectively de-fragments the campus by raising pedstrians above the vehicle traffic of the streets. However, the elevated plaza also creates a more pedestrian friendly and aesthetically pleasing campus by removing parked vehicles and shipping traffic from the sight of students, faculty, and visitors. In the right half of the above photo, students are making use of the plaza by socializing near the library’s entrance. The left half of the photo provides a much different view, though. This side of the image shows the original ground floor located below the plaza. The portion of the lower level shown in this image serves as a faculty parking lot. Before the construction of the elevated plaza, this parking lot was at the heart of the university and had to be navigated in order to move from the library to Kell or Sparks Halls.
In the lower right portion of this picture the shipping and receiving area for the university’s core buildings is visible. Once again, by removing pedestrians from the fragmenting effects of such vehicular traffic, the elevated plaza successfully creates a unified campus and a represents a shared space where students, faculty, and staff may mingle in an intimate academic environment, a space both removed from the busy city and a vital part of the metropolis.
Barth, Gunther. City People: The Rise of Modern City Culture in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Georgia State College Comprehensive Master Plan. Atlanta: Robert and Company Associates, 1966.
Georgia State University Facilities Master Plan. Atlanta: Georgia State University, 1987.