Clermont Hotel, and the Drive Into Atlanta

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I decide to devote most of this day to downtown Atlanta, Georgia, but in order to get there, I had to drive into the city.  Since Atlanta has some of the wildest and most frustrating freeways in America, I didn’t stop to take many pictures, instead letting my dashboard-mounted camera do the work.  So, enjoy the drive into Atlanta, via US 78, 29, and 23, starting from the Stone Mountain area.

As I drove in, one thing caught my eye: the old Clermont Hotel on Ponce de Leon Avenue, about 3 miles away from Centennial Olympic Park.

The old hotel’s funky neon sign was the first to catch my eye.  This radio-tower-looking structure sits atop the building…

… which also sports some fine neon over the front door.

There’s also a once-great neon sign in the parking lot, which was apparently clipped by a big truck.

The Clermont, it turns out, is better known for the strip club in its basement, rather than the hotel itself.  The Clermont Lounge’s website declares it to be the oldest strip club in Atlanta, and “consistently ranked as one of the coolest dive-bars in the world.”  While the hotel is boarded, the lounge is still in operation.

As for the hotel, it was built in the 1920’s as an apartment building, and converted into a hotel in the ’40’s.  It fell into foreclosure in 2009.

New life could be coming soon to the Clermont. In January, 2013, the building was sold to a development company, that plans to convert it into a destination boutique hotel. The Atlanta Business Chronicle says the hotel sold for $2.25 million.

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