Woodruff Arts Center

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Woodruff Arts Center
Woodruff Arts Center2.jpg
Woodruff Arts Center is located in Atlanta Midtown
Woodruff Arts Center
Location in Midtown Atlanta
Location1280 Peachtree Street
Coordinates33°47′21″N 84°23′07″W / 33.78925°N 84.38515°W / 33.78925; -84.38515
PresidentHala Moddelmog
Public transit accessArts Center station

Woodruff Arts Center is a visual and performing arts center located in Atlanta, Georgia. The center houses three not-for-profit arts divisions on one campus. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the High Museum of Art.


In 1962, Atlanta suffered an unprecedented loss when an airplane, the Chateau de Sully, carrying the leaders of Atlanta’s arts and civic community, crashed at Orly Airport in Paris.[1] As the city grieved, it came together and used the devastating loss as a catalyst for the arts and built a fitting memorial to these victims. This led to the creation of the Atlanta Arts Alliance.[2]

The Memorial Arts Center, as the Woodruff was originally known, opened October 5, 1968. The building was designed by Atlanta architect, Joe Amisano.[3] It was renamed the Woodruff Arts Center in 1982 to honor its greatest benefactor, Robert W. Woodruff. The art center also included the Atlanta College of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art. All three entities were combined into one corporation. The Alliance Theatre was added in 1970 as the fourth division of the Woodruff and 35 years later in 2005, a fifth division was added when Young Audiences joined the center. This addition ensures that the Woodruff’s PreK-12 programs now reach more than one million children annually,[citation needed] the largest base of any arts center in the country.[citation needed]

The Woodruff campus expanded in 1983 with the addition of the Richard Meier-designed High Museum of Art building. This building made Meier the youngest Pritzker Prize-winning architect at that time.[4]

On November 12–13, 2005, the Woodruff introduced its largest expansion since opening in 1968.[5][6] The new addition features two new exhibit buildings and a new administrative and curatorial building for the High Museum of Art; a residence hall and sculpture studio; a full-service restaurant — Table 1280 at the Woodruff — as well as a public piazza and a new parking structure. This new "village for the arts" was designed by another Pritzker Prize winner, Italian architect, Renzo Piano.[5]


The Woodruff campus sits on 12.25 acres (4.96 ha) with a planned expansion to 18.25 acres (7.39 ha). Currently, the campus includes 906,000 square feet (84,200 m2) of exhibition, educational and performance space, plus a 200,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) garage located beneath the village.

The Woodruff Arts Center houses the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,Howard Pousner (February 12, 2015). "Atlanta Symphony Orchestra wins Grammy for best engineered album". Artsculture.blog.ajc.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016. the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre,[7] and the High Museum of Art.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Atlanta mayor sadly begins identification". Wisconsin State Journal. June 5, 1962. p. 1. Retrieved October 12, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ Johnson, Kathryn (April 18, 1965). "Atlanta's memorial culture center". The La Crosse Tribune. La Crosse, Wisconsin. p. 29. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  3. ^ Gerald W. Sams, AIA guide to the architecture of Atlanta (University of Georgia Press, 1993), ISBN 978-0820314501, pp. 48, 61, 127, 166. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  4. ^ "Biography: Richard Meier". Pritzkerprize.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Renzo Piano Building Workshop - Projects - By Type - High Museum Expansion". Rpbw.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  6. ^ Benjamin Forgey (November 20, 2005). "A High Complement: Museum Wings Fit In Fine". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Year by Year - 2007 - TonyAwards.com - The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards® - Official Website by IBM". Tonyawards.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°47′26″N 84°23′07″W / 33.79051°N 84.38517°W / 33.79051; -84.38517