Henry installed much of the original facade of the Philips Arena Parking Deck back in 1998. That treatment included a 25’ diameter mechanical clock, an electronic message center and tri-vision board, as well as 8’ and 16’ foot tall halo lit channel letters. The facade itself is 55’ tall and 193’ long and features 40’ tall embossed letters reading “ATLANTA.” Ten years later, on the night of March 14th, 2008, a tornado struck downtown Atlanta and destroyed that work.
Following the tornado Philips called us again. This time not only did they want us to install the replacement facade, but to fabricate it as well. However in the intervening years the zoning laws had changed and recreating the original design was no longer allowed. We took on the case and advocated for the arena before planning and zoning. Eventually, after an extended battle, we secured the required permits for Philips to rebuild.
The replacement facade design, while similar, replaced the two smaller boards with a single 14’ x 48’ full color LED board, and we replaced the mechanical clock with another full color LED display that alternates a clock face image with various advertising messages. The original halo lit letters were largely salvageable, and after cleaning and repair, along with a fresh coat of paint, we replaced the original neon with white LEDs to increase reliability and reduce operating costs. The new facade treatment maintains a continuity of design with the original, but is now updated with more modern technology.