5 places to see Coca-Cola's history in Atlanta

The Coca-Cola Company's history can be seen all over downtown Atlanta, not just at the World of Coca-Cola.

Credit: World of Coca-Cola

Credit: World of Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola Company's history can be seen all over downtown Atlanta, not just at the World of Coca-Cola.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the World of Coca-Cola. The Pemberton Place museum and experience center has been the public home to the Coca-Cola Company's historical record for nearly a decade, after moving from their previous location in Five Points. Contrary to popular belief, the World of Coca-Cola is not the only place to see the brand's history in Atlanta.

Robert Woodruff's Office – In honor of the 100th anniversary of the iconic Coca-Cola bottle, the company's Coke Archives team transformed the office of one of the company's most important figures, located inside Coca-Cola's Atlanta headquarters, into a virtual history museum. While the space is not open for public tours, you can take a free virtual tour by clicking here.

Georgia State University – Andrew Young School of Policy Studies – On the southwest corner of Peachtree and Marietta Street, where the solemn yet grand building housing Georgia State's School of Policy Studies now stands, is the former location of Jacobs' Pharmacy (2 Marietta Street), where the first Coca-Cola fountain drink was sold on May 8, 1886. During its first year of availability, an average of nine Coca-Cola drinks were sold per day at the location.

Just down Marietta Street from the School of Policy Studies, you'll find a parking lot across from Hudson Grille near the CNN Center where a two-story brick structure used to stand housing Pemberton Chemical Company (107 Marietta Street), the business that made the original Coca-Cola.

Edgewood Avenue – Looking like a mix of Avondale Estates and Sweet Auburn housing, the oddly-shaped Victorian building at 125 Edgewood Avenue is the "oldest surviving building associated with the early days" of the brand, according to the National Park Service. For one year between 1900 and 1901, the structure was the headquarters of the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company, which would evolve into the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The property was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1983.

With Asa Candler at the helm, the Coca-Cola Company was rapidly expanding as the twentieth century neared. The first building ever built for the sole purpose of housing the Company was built at 179 Edgewood Avenue in 1898. Coke Archives show that Candler boasted that the new, three-story structure was "sufficient for all our needs for all time to come." In reality it would only house the company for nine years.

Built in 1903 at 187 Edgewood Avenue, the Coca-Cola Building Annex was an effort by the brand to expand its offerings. Though the Coca-Cola Chewing Gum Company was quickly folded, the building continued to serve as an annex to the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company Plant, containing office space and a syrup production facility.

The Coca-Cola Archives – Inside the Coca-Cola Company's North Avenue building is its archives containing rare and valuable Coca-Cola branded merchandise, artwork and mementos from generations of the company's history. Unless you're a company employee with certain security clearances, you probably can't visit the archives in person, but you can virtually visit them 24/7, here.

Margaret Mitchell Square – Named for the literary icon, Margaret Mitchell Square was hometo the iconic Coca-Cola Spectacular sign from 1932 to 1981. Hung at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Pryor Street, the sign was a landmark for locals and tourists, serving as the focal point of New Year's Eve year-end countdowns and offering the weather forecast.

Several renditions of the sign held the spot during the five-decade span, but none more identifiable than the "Neon Spectacular," a 48 x 33-foot sign that featured a 28-foot-tall trademark and 44-foot-tall thermometer.

The current edition of the sign is located atop a building at 22 Peachtree Street, just down the street from the Five Points MARTA Station. On the land that currently houses the station, there used to stand a row of brick buildings with stores on the first floor. In the building that stood at 47 Peachtree Street, the formula for Coca-Cola was perfected in the late 1800s.

The buildings that used to house the Coca-Cola Company and its family of brands only tell part of the story. To see the whole story, visit the World of Coca-Cola where you can experience the brand's history first-hand.