The Millennium Gate
|Location||Atlanta, United States|
|Design and construction|
Rodney Cook Jr.
The Millennium Gate is a triumphal arch and Georgia history museum located in Atlanta, on 17th Street in the Atlantic Station district of Midtown. Based on the Arch of Titus, the monument celebrates peaceful accomplishment, with special attention paid to Georgia's history and people. As of 2011, it is the largest classical monument to have been dedicated since completion of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. The arch inscription reads, in Latin: “This American monument was built to commemorate all peaceful accomplishment since the birth of Jesus Christ in the year of our Lord, MM."
An international competition was sponsored by Richard Driehaus of Chicago, founder of Driehaus Capital Management. 10 winners were selected and a charette was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The winners were Lisa Bergman, United States, Marianne Cusato, United States, Anton Glikin, Russia, Shelly Hoenle, United States, Abdul Muzikir, United States, Silvia Neri, Italy, Daniel Parolek, United States, Milan Petkovic, Czech Republic, Joseph Smith, United States and Luis Pedro Vasquez-Lobos, Guatemala, The judges were Michael Dennis, MIT, Leon Krier, the Prince of Wales Institute, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, University of Miami, Robert A.M.Stern, Yale University, and William Westfall, University of Notre Dame. Hugh Petter of ADAM Architecture, London was commissioned by the National Monuments Foundation to work with National Monuments Foundation president, Rodney Mims Cook, Jr., to develop the Driehaus Charette concepts into the final architectural design. CollinsCooperCarusi, Atlanta were the architects of record. Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill was the curator of the period rooms. Tunnell and Tunnell were the landscape architects. The design is embellished with sculptural allegory by British sculptor Alexander Stoddart, telling the story of peaceful accomplishment of the last 2000 years. His Peace and Justice Gates flanking the arch were given the 2006 Palladio Prize for best American design of a public space.
The Millennium Gate opened July 4, 2008, and cost approximately $20 million.
The Museum houses 12,000 sq ft (1,100 m2) of gallery space, featuring traditional and prototype interactive high-tech exhibits. They are arranged in a series of Savannah double parlors by century, the enfilade created as a result ends at an exedra cloister with a monumental bronze bust of President George Washington, commemorating his various tours of Georgia. The bronze is by George Kelly, sculptor for the United States Supreme Court. Collections of artifacts and notable family archives contribute to exhibits showcasing the pioneering and philanthropic spirit behind the British colonization of Georgia and her capitals, Savannah to Atlanta since 1733. Attention is also given to the notable pre-Columbian history of the native population and their large mound building throughout the state. Other exhibits include three period rooms of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries beginning with the Mims Midway Library, the 18th century seat of Georgia signer of the Declaration of Independence, Lyman Hall, the 19th century office of Atlantic Steel Company president, Trust Company of Georgia president and Coca-Cola Director Thomas K. Glenn, the 20th century Philip Shutze designed Pink House living room built by Joseph Rhodes whose daughter married First National Bank president James D. Robinson, Jr. All of these period rooms contain their original furniture and objects, and murals portraying the exterior window view landscapes were a commission of the Savannah College of Art and Design.
The Bodmer-Hanna Gallery, opened in 2012, houses the Bodmer Papyri XIV & XV, known as P75, which contain the oldest known written gospels of Luke and John. These are among the greatest archeological finds of the Twentieth Century. Offering extraordinary glimpses into the written traditions of early Christianity, these Papyri have provided biblical scholars with a rare opportunity to trace the historical correlations between the ancient gospels and their contemporary counterparts. Moreover, they have demonstrated a remarkable clarity and consistency within the Christian gospel over the last 2,000 years. The Bodmer Papyrus at the time of the Hanna gift was acclaimed by the Vatican Library to be the most important artifact in their collection. The fact that these papyri were threatened with destruction makes their safe transfer from Geneva to Rome one of the most important philanthropic gestures in history. Sally, Frank and Elizabeth Hanna would prefer this remain a quiet gesture, but the global importance of the message contained in the Gospels of Luke and John which they saved, has compelled them to allow the National Monuments Foundation to exhibit them and to inspire the thousands of Georgia school children who visit the Millennium Gate each year. They are displayed in a gallery whose dimensions are the same as the tomb they were buried in for over 1,300 years. The Bodmer-Hanna Gallery compliments the 21st Century Gallery telling one of the most important stories ever to come out of our State.
As of early 2013, the Millennium Gate’s exhibits are open solely by appointment. The rooftop Conservatory, 18th, 19th 20th and 21st century galleries and Oval Lawn are available for weddings, conferences, and other events.
- Dewan, Shaila (April 30, 2009). "An Elaborate Arch, an Opaque Significance". The New York Times.
- "Man helps create giant arch monument for Atlantic Station". Atlanta Journal Constitution. 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-09-25.