This collection contains images related to Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.
0.1 Linear Feet
The Alexander Memorial Coliseum Visual Materials VAC369 contains one postcard (and a duplicate item), two aerial photographs, and a page of statistical information and images. The postcard shows a bird's eye view of the Coliseum at night. The photographs are two aerial views of the Georgia Tech campus prior to the construction of the Coliseum.
Plans for the Alexander Memorial Coliseum were first conceived after the death of long-time coach and Athletic Association director William A. Alexander in 1950. The original plans called for a structure with a seating capacity of 10,000 to 13,000, which would be used for basketball games, tennis, physical training, civic meetings, conventions, commencements, and lectures. With construction costs estimated at $2,500,000, the Athletic Association offered to assume $1,000,000 of the costs and the remaining $1,500,000 would be raised among alumni, students, faculty, staff, and the community.
Rapidly increasing prices, caused by the Korean War, raised the original construction estimate from 2.5 to four million dollars. For the next several years, the administration battled rising costs, disintegrating interest, and limited funds, before finally deciding to scale down the original project to enable construction of a building that matched the size of the funds.
The original building, designed by Aeck Associates, seated 6966 in a combination of theater and bench seats. The circular structure is topped by a dome with a diameter of 270 feet. The dome is supported by thirty-two steel ribs tied to a ten foot diameter center ring. In 1983, the original roof was replaced with a material which easily expands and contracts with temperature changes and was then capped with a copper top.
Alexander Memorial Coliseum was completed in September 1956 and dedicated on 30 November 1956. The Coliseum has undergone three major renovations since its completion. Each renovation added more seats; today, the total seating capacity is 9191. The last, and most extensive, renovation occurred in preparation for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Chosen as the boxing venue for the Olympics, the multi-million dollar renovations to the Coliseum included improvements in seating, lighting and sound systems, the addition of luxury boxes, and wider walkways on the concourse level. The floor was lowered and the tunnel entrance rerouted from mid-court to a corner entrance. A new, brick, exterior was created and the building was air conditioned for the first time.
A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.
Mandi D. Johnson processed these visual materials in May 2009.