A boutique hotel that opened in a formerly shuttered building in recent weeks marks another investment in the eastern fringes of Old Fourth Ward.

The Darwin, an 111-room lodge at 585 Parkway Drive, started welcoming guests in mid-December between Boulevard and Central Park.

The Darwin remade a nondescript building that had originally been constructed to house workers for the 1996 Olympics, according to C+TC Design Studio, the Atlanta-based firm enlisted for the project’s architecture and interior design.

Once the Olympics left town, the property converted to a Red Roof Inn and then rebranded as the Ponce Hotel about five years ago, before closing and shuttering. New owners approached C+TC Design Studio about a remake in 2020, and Hospitality Ventures Management Group operates the property today.

The Darwin's Parkway Drive frontage while under construction in February last year. Google Maps

Photography by Ben Brinker, Atlas ATL, and Abhi Thaker, XC Films

The hotel’s name, according to project reps, nods to “the remarkable changes that the Old Fourth Ward has undergone, and the theme of evolution and time are prominent throughout the hotel.” See: hourglasses symbolizing time dotted around the lobby. And lamps, bar pendants, and tiles on the bar meant to evoke time capsules.

The hotel’s courtyard is centered around a tree that’s been growing since 1996, with an attached cocktail bar and NanaWall that opens to the lobby.

The property’s smallest rooms—“the Cozy” option, with around 200 square feet and a single king or queen—start from $134 nightly this month. The hotel also includes a restaurant off the courtyard area.    

Have a closer look at this unique take on intown adaptive-reuse in the gallery above.


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Old Fourth Ward news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)