Big Ideas

We’re never satisfied with the status quo.

Legacy Ventures has a history of innovation. Not all of our concepts are as simple as hotel or restaurant. We allow our team the flexibility to exercise their creative muscles, finding that when freedom happens, some of our biggest and best ideas result. Here are a few of our favorite projects:


Photography as Wallpaper

As part of a mixed-use project that wraps around a significant parking facility, the Hilton Garden Inn was planned as a single loaded corridor hotel. Legacy punctuated the guest floor’s long corridors in a contextual gesture to the adjacent Georgia Aquarium. Deep-sea images from acclaimed photographer, Jeffrey Rotman, were sent to National Geographic for large scale printing and installed in panels under a custom designed lighting system.

Glenn Art Program

Fluid and interesting art touches can be seen throughout Glenn Hotel, providing inspiring visual experiences and strengthening the customers’ emotional connection to the space. The hotel opened in 2006 as Atlanta’s first boutique hotel, and with that distinction a focus on art as a differentiator was woven throughout the upscale design. Art installations include an historic key chandelier over the reception desk, playful guestroom imagery in florals, and numerous unique pieces throughout the corridors and public spaces. Furthering the design intent, vintage colorful food and beverage posters were hung in Glenn’s Kitchen, visible through the Glenn’s windows to provide a pop of color and interest to passersby. In 2015, a dramatic art deco mural was added to the entry way, depicting by the Atlanta skyline. Additionally, kinetic sculptures by Lyman Whitaker were installed in the outboard rock garden area of the SkyLounge rooftop bar and event space. These mesmerizing sculptures move with the wind, providing a focal point of interest from the street as well as from the SkyLounge, eleven stories from street level.

Information on the Artist: Lyman Whitaker has been a practicing sculptor for over 40 years, dedicating much of his time to the creation of Wind Sculptures. He has become the most recognized name in the creation of Wind Machines with works such as Double Helix, Agave, Double Spinner, Desert Flame and Star Dancer receiving international recognition. Lyman Whitaker Wind Sculptures can be viewed from any angle, and are as soothing and calming as they are aesthetically unique. Lyman’s wind sculptures reflect organic themes symbolizing civilization creating a more harmonious relationship with the earth. Lyman’s works are organic like trees, and are enjoyed best in settings where they are viewed over time.
His sculptures are often displayed in Wind Sculpture Forests and in public and private collections throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.


In 2015, Legacy received a Tax Allocation District grant to be used for the beautification of two of its downtown Atlanta assets. One component of the Glenn Hotel’s art program was the addition of a mural on the lower area of the Glenn’s north elevation along the entry drive. This portion of the Hotel’s façade was an unappealing stucco area/patch where the structure formerly connected to another building that has since been demolished. This area was transformed with the addition of an art deco mural, tying into the building’s 1920’s origin (see timelapse here). Similarly, a bold “ATLANTA” mural depicting images of key downtown economic and entertainment drivers (principally sports-related) was applied to the exterior façade of STATS, facing the downtown entertainment district.

Information on the Artist: Alexi Torres was born September 27, 1976, Matanzas, Cuba. Alexi currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA and Zancudo, Costa Rica. Alexi founded Buckhead Murals LLC in 2004. He has made important murals in Atlanta, such as “Der Biergarten” (developed and owned by a Legacy affiliate), “Silhouette Building” at Peachtree Street, “Medieval Times”, “Monkey Joe’s”, “Kangaroo Bob’s”, “Drew Charter School” and “Parties on Air”. He also has exhibited in important museums and galleries.

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Three Dimensional Pointillism

In response to the development of the Georgia Aquarium on a nearby site, Legacy determined that it should adjust the motif of its Embassy Suites Hotel in Downtown Atlanta toward leisure guests. The notion of filling its public spaces with aquariums was rejected. Instead, Legacy commissioned a 75-foot tall, three-dimensional pointillism sculpture from Boston artists Helmick and Schechter.

Delicately suspended in the atrium of the Embassy Suites Hotel floats ‘Echo’, a three-dimensional meditation on ocean life and human perception. Comprised of over 1350 cast metal component sculptures attached to over 1100 stainless steel cables, the artwork employs a sort of three-dimensional Pointillism wherein numerous small elements coalesce into an epic, leaping tarpon. The microcosmic components are multiples of 23 small sculptures, each of which depicts a dynamic species of sea life, most of which can be found next door in the neighboring Georgia Aquarium. ‘Echo’ is a subject of contemplation and discovery for the guests of Embassy Suites, as well as a reminder of the further wonders that await them at the Aquarium next door.

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Timeless Take on a Period Design

As part of a strategic repositioning of the hotel, Legacy created a design motif that combines mid-century Modern aesthetics with a timeless sensibility. This overarching design idea is incorporated into the many guest touchpoints throughout the hotel: from guestroom furnishings, to the ground floor layout, to the rebranding of the hotel restaurant, to signage and graphics, and to the exterior look and feel of the building. This holistic redesign of the hotel has allowed us to obtain Hilton’s approve to ‘rebrand’ the hotel as the American Hotel Downtown Atlanta, a Doubletree by Hilton.


Life-Cycle Cost Analysis

Legacy’s projects are planned through a Life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) approach, which dovetails with Legacy’s commitment to the environment and long view of real estate as an investment class. LCCA assesses the total cost of facility ownership. It takes into account all costs of acquiring, owning, and disposing of a building or building system. LCCA is especially useful when project alternatives that fulfill the same performance requirements, but differ with respect to initial costs and operating costs, have to be compared in order to select the one that maximizes net savings.

Examples – The incorporation of a high-performance HVAC or glazing system may increase initial cost but result in dramatically reduced operating and maintenance costs. Legacy’s choice for HVAC systems in its climate is frequently water source heat pump as deployed in Glenn Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Atlanta.

Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge

Legacy’s Embassy Suites at Centennial Olympic Park is a Phase One participant of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge.

Last year, the buildings in which the U.S. lives and works used roughly 40% of the energy in the U.S. economy at a cost of over $400 billion. Through a variety of efficiency improvements (e.g. new lighting, greater insulation, more efficient heating and cooling) and proven approaches (clear information, access to financing, energy efficiency investment criteria), we can make these buildings more energy efficient and better places to live and work while creating jobs and building a stronger economy. In February 2011, President Obama, building upon the investments of the Recovery Act, announced the Better Buildings Initiative to make commercial buildings 20% more energy efficient by 2020 and accelerate private sector investment in energy efficiency.

By joining the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, building owners and managers pledge to save energy and water 20% by 2020 in their selected buildings. The Atlanta BBC team works with the owners of these buildings to provide incentives such as free building assessments, education and training courses, access to project financing opportunities and more. Participants are committed to publicly pledge a building-specific energy savings goal and develop a plan and schedule; identify a building energy savings project and implement the project; and share utility data with the US Department of Energy, as well as information about the tools, technologies, and processes they used implement projects and reach their pledge goal.

Solar Energy

Legacy completed one of Downtown Atlanta’s first rooftop solar panel systems in 2011. Located on the roof of the Centennial Park West condominium building at 250 Park Avenue West, the Solar Garden can be seen from the nearby Ventanas event facility at the Hilton Garden Inn and is a prominent green addition to the Luckie Marietta District. Over a year and a half in the planning, the Solar Garden received incentives from the state government, the federal government, and Georgia Power, helping the project achieve economic viability.