Atlanta building that was Hawkins lab in ‘Stranger Things’ will be torn down

Emory University is leasing the property to a developer, who is planning a senior living community

An iconic building from the show “Stranger Things” is going to be torn down.

Emory University said Atlanta-based Galerie Living in the process of leasing the 32-acre grounds for 99 years to build a senior living community. As part of the agreement, all former hospital buildings are being demolished, including the one featured on the popular Netflix series.

The foreboding-looking edifice at 1256 Briarcliff Road has been featured on “Stranger Things” as the secretive Hawkins National Laboratory, where questionable experiments were being conducted on children like Eleven, one of the main characters on the show.

The building was originally the Georgia Mental Health Institute, which operated from 1965 until 1997. Emory bought the entire 42-acre plot of land in 1998.

Emory used this particular building over the years for various purposes, including Emory Continuing Education, University and Community Partnerships offices, administrative offices for the university, the psychiatry department (precursor to Emory Brain Health Center) and more recently, a COVID testing site.

David Payne, associate vice president for planning and engagement, told the Emory Wheel, the student newspaper, that its distance from the main campus (about a mile) factored into leasing the property to a private developer.

On the same property is the century-old Briarcliff Mansion, which has also been used for TV and film productions such as “The Vampire Diaries,” “First Men” and “Doom Patrol.” The mansion is in a state of disrepair but Galerie Living will renovate it, an Emory University spokeswoman said. It will not be used for senior living units but will be part of the community as a whole.

The mansion for many years was the residence of Asa Candler Jr., an heir to the Coca-Cola fortune.

>> More about the Briarcliff Mansion and its rich history

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