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Location DB > United States > Georgia > Atlanta > Heartbreak Hotel
Heartbreak Hotel
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 Database Info
created by rotten peach on 1/6/2005 2:46 PM
last modified by BOX on 8/28/2018 2:25 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.

 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Active
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: not very exciting
 Physical Information

Atlanta, Georgia
United States
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • Active security, cameras, employees. Maybe a deranged hobo or three.
  •  Interesting Features

     Security Measures
  • cameras
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1913
    Closed: 1981
     Required Equipment
  • gloves
  • long pants / sleeves
  •  Recommended Equipment
    Money for room.
    Designed during the golden age of hotel construction before the stock market crash of 1929, Heartbreak is a striking example of the Commercial style with Beaux Arts ornamentation. The base and top are sheathed in limestone and crowned by a powerful detailed cornice, all in sharp contrast with the brick shaft. It’s detailing and window treatments show an attention to human scale rarely found in a high-rise.

    Heralded by claims of "Atlanta's Newest, Tallest and Finest" and boasting "every room an outside room", Heartbreak’s grand opening on Oct. 30, 1913, was a glittering gala that attracted many of the most glamorous citizens of Atlanta. Bridal suites, ballrooms, and exquisite dining areas were sites of pleasure within the famous edifice. A central-spiral staircase and an elevator that was under the control of an operator were additional ‘modern’ touches.

    While subsequent advertising described the brick and stone construction as "fireproof", the events of the night of Dec. 6, 1946, proved otherwise. That night the hotel was booked to capacity with guests preparing for the next day’s festivities marking the 5th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

    Sometime after 3am an employee smelled smoke on the third floor of the structure. When fire trucks began to roll to the scene at 3:45, the fire had made significant progress. Guests not already asphyxiated by the smoke but trapped on the upper floors tried to climb down bed sheets or rope. Others -jumping out of panic or losing their grip on window ledges -were landing and dying on the streets and alleys surrounding the building. One man entered an adjacent building and stretched a board across a 10-foot gap to his mother's sixth-floor room. He crawled across and brought her to safety. Firemen followed his lead and rescued many guests who had no other escape from the back of the hotel. These same firemen had previously discovered that their ladders could not reach above the 8th floor and that their nets wouldn’t support victims falling from more than 70 feet. One young woman, however, survived an 11-story jump. She broke both legs, her back and her pelvis and underwent seven operations over the next 10 years, eventually losing a leg. An amateur photographer captured her leap with his last remaining flash and produced a photo which won that year's Pulitzer Prize.

    When the smoke cleared, 119 of 280 guests had perished and the world was stunned by what remains America’s deadliest hotel fire. Within days fire codes were upgraded across the country. While codes in effect when the hotel was constructed required fire escapes only on buildings whose base measured 5,000 square feet or more, Heartbreak’s footprint is just shy of that figure. Internal staircases would now be required to have fire doors to isolate each floor. Sprinkler systems and fire escapes would now be required on all multi-story buildings.

    Heartbreak stood empty until 1950 when it was renovated to incorporate many safety features. It reopened in 1951 as the Peachtree on Peachtree Hotel but, sadly, never regained its former glory and prosperity. In 1967 the owner donated the building to a charitable organization, charging it to establish a home for elderly on the very site where so many had perished. While restaurants periodically operated on the street-level floors, the building has been dark since 1981.

    “So tall for its time, the old hotel now seems lost in a downtown of giants.”

    Now open as the Ellis Hotel.

     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    Various 'boutique hotel' renovation plans have been completed.


    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Since my baby left me...
    Fri, Dec 6th, 1946
    posted by rotten peach
    10 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    I found a new place to dwell...
    Fri, Apr 1st, 2005
    posted by rotten peach
    7 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Down at the end of Lonely Street...
    Sun, Apr 3rd, 2005
    posted by rotten peach
    27 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    mm's other APEX05 pix
    Wed, Dec 28th, 2005
    posted by MutantMandias
    6 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    not as many pigeons in the winter...
    Mon, Feb 27th, 2006
    posted by BOX
    52 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    02/26/2006 night trip!
    Mon, Feb 27th, 2006
    posted by graywolf46
    12 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Waiting for the target.
    Mon, Feb 27th, 2006
    posted by Simian
    14 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    APEX 05
    Mon, Aug 31st, 2105
    posted by rotten peach
    12 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links


    Edit this Location
     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 8/29/2018 2:03 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Aug 29 18 at 2:03, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Aug 29 18 at 2:03, Emperor Wang made this location public
  • on Aug 28 18 at 2:25, BOX changed the following: History, Status, Accessibility, Hazards, Recommendation, Security Measures, Required Equipment, Recommended Equipment, Future Plans
  • on Dec 6 10 at 20:19, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Dec 3 10 at 21:42, redSky changed the following: Latitude, Longitude, Co-ordinate Accuracy
  • on Sep 4 07 at 13:33, SaraBellum validated this location
  • on Sep 4 07 at 13:14, rotten peach updated gallery Down at the end of Lonely Street...
  • on Sep 4 07 at 13:13, rotten peach updated gallery I found a new place to dwell...
  • on Feb 19 07 at 3:28, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on May 8 06 at 14:40, Simian changed the following: Status, Security Measures, Required Equipment, Future Plans
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
    New Thread
     SubjectStarted ByRepliesViewsLast Post
    You must log in for this feature to work.Active hotel nowDJ Craig12304/16/2017 7:12 AM by BOX
    You must log in for this feature to update...rotten peach145710/16/2007 9:04 AM by BOX
    You must log in for this feature to work.So is this building still abandoned?sphinx55822/20/2007 5:36 PM by rev_skarekroe
    You must log in for this feature to work.This hotel...maxt351012/8/2005 6:06 PM by graywolf46
    You must log in for this feature to work.Huh?Scaggs127865/23/2005 3:04 PM by rev_skarekroe
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