Two Years after Downtown Tornado, Westin Peachtree Plaza Window Replacement is 25 Percent Complete
When a 130 mile-per-hour tornado ripped through part of Downtown Atlanta on Friday, March 14, 2008, no one imagined the power of the storm and the devastation it would leave behind. Two years later, Downtown Atlanta has proven its resilience as major downtown establishments including the Westin Peachtree Plaza, the Georgia Dome, the Hilton, Centennial Tower, the Omni Hotel and others have undergone repairs while staying open for business.
The Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel is currently getting a facelift that will restore the iconic hotel to its landmark status. All 6,350 windows in the 73-story hotel will be replaced in approximately 15 months. On March 14, 2010, the two-year anniversary of the first tornado to ever hit downtown Atlanta, Skanska USA Building began replacing guest-room windows on the 50th floor and is opening up the hotel’s grand atrium to new glass. The window replacement is about 25 percent complete.
The reskinning of the Westin is the largest hotel window replacement project in the Western Hemisphere. The replacement effort remains on schedule and both parties are firmly committed to the goals of restoring the John Portman landmark-design of the hotel, following a safe construction process with minimal inconvenience to guests and bringing the building exterior up to today’s standards.
Skanska completed renovations to the Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View on the 70th floor of the Westin Peachtree Plaza in late January – just in time for Valentine’s Day, where there were more engagements than any other restaurant in Atlanta.
“Our team has worked quickly to master the window removal process,” said Skanska USA Building’s John Reyhan, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Georgia Division. “This dedication and hard work has allowed us to stay ahead of schedule, even with the rainy weather, while maintaining our focus on safety.”
Skanska continues down the building at a pace of one floor per week, taking five floors out of service at a time to buffer any noise. The job will reach the mid-way point this spring with the re-opening of the scenic elevators.
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Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction networks in the country consisting of four business units: Skanska USA Building, which specializes in building construction; Skanska USA Civil, which is focused on building civil infrastructure; Skanska Infrastructure Development, which develops public-private partnerships; and, Skanska Commercial Development, which pursues commercial development initiatives in select U.S. markets. Headquartered in New York with 33 offices across the country, Skanska USA has approximately 7,000 employees and its 2008 revenues were $6.3 billion, representing 27 percent of Skanska’s global revenues.
Skanska is one of the world’s leading construction groups with expertise in construction, development of commercial and residential projects and public-private partnerships. The Group currently has 55,000 employees in selected home markets in Europe, in the U.S. and Latin America. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, Skanska’s sales in 2008 totaled $22 billion.