Liberty Plaza: A hundred years in the making

August 15, 2016

The State Capitol Building Hosts over 100 outdoor events each year resulting in many street closures that adversely affect local traffic. “Liberty Plaza” now becomes the major focal point for large groups that hold public rallies and assemblies both during and between legislative sessions. The public plaza is large enough to accommodate over 3,000 visitors and is located across from the Georgia State Capitol. The Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty replicas previously located on the Capitol grounds were relocated to prominent locations in the new Plaza.

Capitol Grounds Exhibit and Events Guidelines - Liberty Plaza is designated as the Capitol public area for all outdoor events or exhibits. Guidelines for its use are outlined in section 2.5 on page 6.

Video - The History of Liberty Plaza.

Photo Gallery - Concepts, model views and photographs.

For over 100 years discussions have surrounded an assembly area adjacent to the Capitol.

  • Beginning in 1910 a civic area plan was developed as part of a city beautification and development plan. “A Dream of the Heart of Atlanta, Georgia”.
  • In 1927 a civic center plan was developed.
  • In 1932 a proposal from the city planning commission for a civic center.
  • In 1944 a master plan was developed with a large greenspace area next to the Capitol.
  • In 1962-1969 the City, County, and State joined to develop a plan for a plaza park, but was never able to fulfill the vision of a civic area for the Capitol.
  • In 1974, the State of Georgia commissioned Eric Hill Associates to develop a new a twenty-five year Capitol Hill Master Plan.  The plan included an elevated pedestrian level with several plaza areas around the Capitol.
  • In 2004 a Capitol Vista Mall spanning the downtown connector was proposed, but with the downturn in the economy and a lofty price tag, the project never received significant consideration.
  • In 2008, while GBA was developing plans for a new parking deck on the site of the old DOT building, Steve Fanczi (Deputy Executive Director of GBA) developed and proposed the concept of a public plaza to the east of the State Capitol.
  • In 2011, engineers analyzed the structural condition of the parking deck directly across from the Capitol and determined that repair would be substantially costly.
  • In 2013, Steve Stancil (State Property Officer) requested and received approval to demolish the parking structure and construct a public civic area to be called “Liberty Plaza”.  Funding was provided from proceeds from the sale of surplus GBA properties.
  • In late 2013, proposals were reviewed for the new assembly area with Steven & Wilkinson and HGOR being selected.
  • Liberty Plaza was dedicated Friday, January 16, 2015.

Liberty Plaza is the home of a Liberty Bell and Statue of Liberty

  • In 1950, the U.S. Department of Treasury commissioned 55 exact replicas of the Liberty Bell, one for each State Capitol.  One of the plaques for the bell states “Dedicated to you, a free citizen in a free land.”   Cast by Paccard Fonderie des Cloches, France.  Refurbished by Christoph Paccard Bell Foundary, Charleston, SC.
  • In 1951, the Boy Scouts of America donated a 8 ½ feet tall replica of the Statue of Liberty celebrating Scouting’s 40th anniversary (1950) theme, "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty."

Plaques of note

  • Declaration of Independence (excerpt)
  • Preamble to the Constitution (excerpt)
  • The Star-Spangled Banner
  • Pledge of Allegiance
Related Files: 
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Liberty Plaza Dedication Web.pdf346.67 KB