- At 9:04 p.m. on Friday, March 14, 2008, a 130 mile per hour tornado ripped through part of downtown Atlanta and snaked across a six-mile long, 200-yard wide stretch of the city with the Westin Peachtree Plaza in its path. Upon impact, the hotel swayed two feet in either direction, as it was designed to do.
- At the Georgia Dome, the third of four quarterfinal games of the SEC Championships was in overtime pitting the University of Alabama against Mississippi State University.
- The hotel evacuated all 2,000 guests, including 700 diners in the Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View, a dental convention and a wedding party, into the ballrooms within 20 minutes. Sister hotels Westin North and Sheraton Gateway housed the guests whose rooms were damaged.
- There are 239 rooms that had one or two of the four windows damaged and they have since been replaced with drywall; new carpets and drapes also were added to those 239 renovated rooms. The hotel has a total of 1,068 rooms.
- No injuries in the hotel were reported.
- This was the only documented tornado to ever hit downtown Atlanta.
- As of November 9th 2010 all windows have been replaced.
- Every window in the hotel, totaling 6,350 panes of glass, will be replaced. This includes the Sun Dial scenic elevator and the Atrium Level glass.
- The window replacement will take place from the top of the hotel down and will have minimal impact on guests because Skanska will work on five floors at a time with buffers on either side.
- The replacement project should repair one floor per week.
- Each hotel room has four window panels, and each window panel measures approximately four-feet by nine-feet.
- More than 600 tons of glass will be recycled.
Window Fun Facts
- If placed back-to-back, the windows being replaced would total 58,150 feet or nearly 11 miles.
- The 600 tons of glass being recycled equals the weight of 1.1 million 12-ounce Coca-Colas, or about seven of Delta’s Boeing 737 jets.
- Each pane of hotel-room glass weighs 270 pounds, about the average weight of an Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman. Four panes of glass will be replaced in each hotel room.
- One pane of hotel-room glass measures 52 inches by 110 inches, or about the dimensions of a SmartCar. Seven panes of glass equal the weight of one SmartCar.
- If you line the windows, they would go to the Airport and possibly find a parking space (10.6 miles).
- They would take you back and forth to the Varsity 10 times and if you were really hungry you could order the nearly 60,000 Varsity Naked Dogs, lined end-to-end, that it would take to match the same distance.
- In the mood for some shopping?? If you lined the windows back-to-back you could reach Atlantic Station back and forth nearly four times; and Phipps and Lenox Malls back and forth.
- Taking in some of the city’s fine attractions?? You could line the windows back-to-back and reach the World of Coke and the Georgia Aquarium back and forth 11 times, Centennial Olympic Park to Philips Arena and CNN and back three times.
- The 600 tons of glass being recycled equals the weight of 30 whale sharks like those found at the Georgia Aquarium.
- The Westin Peachtree Plaza is 723 feet tall -- slightly taller than 100 stacked seven-foot Coca-Cola Polar Bears and just shy of the height of Stone Mountain at 825 feet.
- Sports fan?? The Georgia Dome can be reached back and forth three times.
Westin Fun Facts
- Renowned Atlanta architect John Portman designed the hotel in 1976.
- The High Museum of Art will exhibit “John Portman: Art & Architecture,” featuring architectural projects, furniture, paintings and sculpture by this architect, artist and designer of the Westin Peachtree Plaza. The exhibit will be on view from October 17, 2009 through January 17, 2010.
- The building is a 73-story tower, topped by the tri-level, revolving Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View.
- Fifty-three meeting rooms encompass 80,000 square feet of flexible space. The largest venue, the Peachtree Ballroom, accommodates 2,500 guests in 15,121 square feet of space.
- At 723 feet, The Westin Peachtree Plaza was Atlanta's tallest building until 1987, when it was surpassed by One Atlantic Center. Today, The Westin Peachtree Plaza is the fifth tallest building in Atlanta, surpassed in height by the Bank of America building (1023 feet), Sun Trust Plaza (871 feet), One Atlantic Center (820 feet), and 191 Peachtree Tower (770 feet). It remains the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere.