Thursday, September 24, 2009

CNN-gaging: Atlanta's CNN Center

The CNN Center originally housed an indoor amusement park
called The World of Sid and Marty Krofft. No kidding.

They've got the world's tallest escalator.

They've got a CNN-terior decorator.

I can't picture Lou Dobbs wearing these.

We didn't see Anderson Cooper but they had a nice cardboard cutout of him.

We were lucky enough to visit the great city of Atlanta a few days before the terrible floods hit and our sympathies go out to the nice people in the area who have been suffering. A highlight of our stay was a visit to the CNN Center in the heart of downtown Atlanta. CNN's world headquarters are located here and the building houses its newsgathering departments as well as Turner Broadcasting's other network offices. In 1976, a developer asked Sid and Marty Krofft, creators of the television series H.R. Pufnstuf, to develop an amusement park for the new Omni International complex in downtown Atlanta. The World of Sid and Marty Krofft was the world's first indoor amusement park, but due to poor attendance it was closed after just six months. The Omni International building that contained the amusement park was renamed to the CNN Center when the site was converted to the present CNN headquarters. Seems like a rather incongruous transition to go from Witchiepoo to Wolf Blitzer, but there you go. They kept one unique feature: the world's tallest escalator. It stretches eight stories and descends into a giant globe. You can take a really great tour of CNN for $15, where you'll see the newsroom, its staff, and anchorpeople reading the news live off teleprompters. An amusing sign on the glass corridor overlooking the newsroom read "Please do not tap on the glass." They're journalists, not monkeys in a cage, you know. There's a CNN gift shop too, to remember all your friends by with swell souvenirs. The CNN Center gets our CNN-dorsement.

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