All posts by Laura Eve Coburn

Laura Coburn is rising senior and a Journalism and Sociology Co-Major at Emory University. During fall 2013 she interned with the CNN Medical Unit and recently completed her spring internship with CNN On-Air Promotions. This summer she plans to broaden her experiences while working with Fox News Channel in New York City. Laura's focus is on health and lifestyle and telling stories that make an impact.

The Tower

On the corner of a bustling Virginia-Highland intersection lies a set of worn stone steps. Trees line either side, masking all that lies beyond. The sight is mysterious, yet inviting. At the summit is an open lot enveloped with overgrown vines. It’s shady, with sunbeams peeking in through the canopy. Peaceful and still, there is no one in sight. But just beyond the vines and the brush, walls of gray stone and a dark wooden roof tower over the tallest of trees.

The Tower is not a house, but an art piece and work in progress. Jack Harich, a Georgia native, bought the lot in 1973 and began building two years later. Inspired by his motto “make it perpetually inspiring to live in,” Harich has been building the structure for the past four decades. He calls it a “design-as-you-go, pay-as-you-go, have fun type of art piece” — not a house.

“I just wanted to build something — build a house. Who’s to say why, but a lot of people build houses,” Harich says, reflecting on his motivation for beginning the project.

Harich sees his work as a craft, and for him, The Tower is a form of self- expression. The Tower has 100 tons of Cherokee marble and includes sections of White Oak and Yellow Pine. Each piece has been carefully integrated into the house to reflect Harich’s personality and creativity. The Tower’s form evolves as he does.

Harich’s first accomplishment was what he calls the stone circle. He originally designed it to be an outdoor accessory, but when he realized that it was a livable space, he continued to build around it. The stone circle now serves as stone pillars holding up the structure of the house. The stone circle, which now sits in the center of the lowest floor, is constructed of white marble for eight feet before it switches to wood. The structure is three stories high, shooting through the center of the house. At the top, Harich built the Crow’s Nest, a haven nestled away just beneath the roof. A wooden ladder ascends to a skylight that opens to the rooftop.

The base of the stone circle is now the core of the first floor – a space that Harich envisions to be his indoor workshop. It’s one of the largest open spaces in The Tower. And despite the Atlanta heat, the first floor will not contain air conditioning. The marble walls insulate the floor naturally through thermal mass, maintaining an average temperature of 56 degrees. The room will also have natural warming in the winter, retaining the heat. “You hardly have to heat it at all if you just bundle up a little in the winter,” Harich says. On the left is a section of the wall made entirely of thick translucent glass, allowing the sunshine to pour into the otherwise-dark lower level. Harich’s modern style incorporates two moon gates, which invite even more natural light to flow in, illuminating the room.

A wooden ladder from the outside leads upstairs. At the top, the light radiates through the windows constituting each of the main room’s walls. Harich says this room is meant to energize and inspire. The ceiling is awe-inspiring with grand arches and intricate carved designs. The wooden facade, sawed and nailed together by hand, took two years to complete. In 1995, Harich had twenty friends over for a weekend to help raise the timber frame. Six months later, Harich finished the joinery and decorative ceiling. Harich’s love for his wife, Martha, is palpable through the wooden carvings of hearts that crown each spectacular arch.

While the arched room is the most meaningful for Harich, the next room over, the guest room, is the most unique. Harich calls it the Tree Room. Built out of tree trunks, branches wind their way toward the ceiling. The tree trunks serve as a base to support the ceiling. With trees gracing outside the windows, the Tree Room becomes one with its surroundings.

And the artist? Jack is a jack of all trades. He’s as interesting as The Tower — maybe more so.

Meet Harich and find out the story behind The Tower here.

See the progress of the Tower over time:[timeline src=”” width=”100%” height=”650″ font=”Bevan-PotanoSans” maptype=”toner” lang=”en” ]

No panic at The Tabernacle: historic venue down but not out

The Tabernacle is making Atlanta news headlines after the concert hall’s floor collapsed during a sold-out January concert. An Atlanta fire marshal evacuated the hall, ushering out hundreds of Panic at the Disco! fans. To the disappointment of concertgoers and scheduled artists, the venue remains temporarily closed until further inspection. However, this historic grande dame has gone through many ups and down and has always come back to enrich downtown Atlanta. The fracture of the century-old flooring serves as a reminder of the venue’s rich history.

The Luckie Street concert hall has not always blasted rap, rock and techno beats. The elaborate four-story building once echoed church bells and songs of faith. Reverend Leonard Gaston Broughton first opened the downtown building in 1910 as a Baptist church, the Broughton Tabernacle. Broughton added an infirmary and nursing school dormitory adjacent to the church. The tabernacle grew, eventually serving 4,000 worshipers, but by the mid-1980s the church membership dwindled and the congregation relocated. During the1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, the space was reincarnated as the House of Blues. When the House of Blues’ lease expired two years later, the building was rechristened as The Tabernacle, but this time home to a different kind of soul.

The pulpit is now a stage and The Tabernacle, as is known today, has hosted performances by Adele, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Prince and Nelly. While big enough to host top performers, its intimate atmosphere has not been lost – and neither has its elegance. Adorned with a crystal chandelier, stained glass windows, an ornate ceiling and tiled balconies, the venue merges the traditional with the hip.

And if the outstanding ambiance, acoustics, lighting and lineup aren’t enough, food and drinks are available at the multiple bars throughout the building.

The Tabernacle sits at the edge of downtown Atlanta near Centennial Park and is a regular stop for music-lovers. Now run by Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the world’s largest live music company, the historic concert hall is one of Atlanta’s and the nation’s top music venues. A crack in the floor might put the music on pause, but concerts have already been rescheduled and with a prayer, The Tabernacle will soon reopen for another chorus.

152 Luckie Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Tel: 404.659.9022
Fax: 404.659.9086

The Paintings of Peachtree

The Paintings of Peachtree

A glance at Midtown Atlanta’s art scene

  1. Known for its vibrant culture, Midtown is blossoming into one
    of Atlanta’s hottest neighborhoods. Midtown is Atlanta’s heart of the arts. From street art to esteemed museums, Midtown is home to some of the best artwork
    in the city. While there is no shortage of renowned artists featured in the museums,
    many of the galleries introduce up-and-coming talent.

  2. The High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 13,000 pieces of artwork, the collection houses everything from the classics to the contemporary.
  3. The Birthday Girl With Her Favorite Painting. Dragon (Drache) by Anslem Kiefer. @nicomeadows #modernart #highmuseum #anslemkiefer #vsco #vscocam
  4. High Museum of Art, Atlanta
  5. While the High Museum is the most famous in Atlanta, Midtown is lined with noteworthy museums and galleries. Just across the street, The Museum of Design Atlanta highlights creativity through design.
  6. Atlanta – Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
  7. MODA even curated a competition in the form of a museum exhibition. Emerging artists collaborated with interior and set designers to showcase unique, original designs.
  8. MODA | The South’s Next Wave Design Challenge
  9. #5ThingsToDoToday ‘Alchemy 3’ at Beep Beep Gallery, Dave Nelson and Marlon Patton at the Goat Farm 
  10. Midtown does not have a specific art district. The neighohood is peppered with numerous hidden gems. Beep Beep Gallery is one of them — tucked away on Charles Allen Drive, the gallery is home to eclectic artwork created by emerging Atlanta artists. Rumor has it that their exhibition openings, or parties, are the place to be if you’re one of the “cool kids.”
  11. Mentions and buzz for Beep Beep Gallery:  – RT @carolinecox All the cool kids will be at beep beep gallery tonight …
  12. Beep Beep Gallery always has something exciting to honk about.
  13. What it is my playurr partner art soldiers? We …
  14. “Gold Party” featuring 7 new artists opens this Saturday at Beep Beep! 
  15. Gold Party’s looking great on the walls. See y’all at the opening Saturday.
  16. The Robert Matre Gallery displays artist Robert Matre’s own photography and a collection of unique modern paintings and sculptures. The gallery is known for its “bold, vibrant and impactful works.” Rotating exhibitions feature both national and international, emerging, and established contemporary artists.
  17. In Midtown, art is not just in the galleries, but on the city’s walls, streets and bridges. The shots below are just a taste of how street art brings the neighborhood to life.
  18. Whattup Blood?? Got a quick shot as I was leaving the dog park today..Anybody wanna venture around Piedmont Park soon?
  19. Whether you set out for a day at the museum or are dashing between a tattoo shop and a bistro, keep you eyes open because you’ll be sure to experience some of Atlanta’s finest art.


Atlanta Pride Festival



When you walk into Atlanta Pride Festival festival, you can immediately feel the energy.


Walking through Midtown’s Piedmont Park, you’ll witness the most raveshing costumes. From todlers in strollers to elderly couples with families, festival-goers eat, drink, sing and dance the day away.unnamed-5

Whether you’re in the mood for a vegan wrap or fried chicken, there’s something for everyone. The food and beverage options are as diverse as the crowd.



But the true meaning of the celebration can be seen on the countless signs marked with words of pride — pride for who they are and the rights they deserve.


Atlanta Pride celebrates for an entire weekend, with numerous events from day to night. The parade is the culminating event and is a time for the LGBT community to congregrate in an elaborate celebration.


Atlanta organizations and businesses join together to march for a shared cause. Colorful banners, waving flags, dazzling costumes and blasting music keep the party going until sunset.


Making more and more progress each year, the LGBT community has plenty to celebrate. Eight states added marriage equality in the past year. More than 10 million people changed their profile picture to the HRC red equality logo during two marriage equality Supreme Court cases. The U.S. Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, moving toward workplace protection for all American citizens.


Time to get planning for next year’s annual Pride Festival and Parade!