Bank of America donates $1 million to Centennial Olympic Park update

Bank of America has donated $1 million to the Georgia World Congress Center’s efforts to expand and update Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta.

The North Carolina-based banking giant announced the gift Thursday on the roof of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s offices adjacent to the greenspace.

The GWCC is trying to raise $25 million to redevelop the 21-acre site and create a new pedestrian plaza, revamp the park's amphitheater, install a bike depot and open the Baker Street corner to neighboring attractions.

“Centennial Olympic Park is a cornerstone of Atlanta civic activity, and Bank of America has a deep legacy with the Olympics, going back to our local predecessor NationsBank, said Wendy Stewart, Bank of America’s Atlanta market president.

“We believed in the promise the park and the Games symbolized for a flourishing city, and since then have continually invested in the communities that make up our city by supporting neighborhood revitalization, arts and culture and environmental conservation,” she said.

The renovation of the park also calls for the demolition of the chamber building to better open Centennial up to Marietta Street and offer fuller views of the College Football Hall of Fame and the entrance to the GWCC, the nation’s fourth-largest convention center. GWCC officials have said demolition of the chamber building will begin sometime early next year.

Other contributions to the campaign include a $1 million donation from telecom giant AT&T in October, $1 million from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola in May and $10 million from the Woodruff Foundation last November.

In March, the downtown Atlanta attraction also relaunched its "Adopt-A-Brick" program to help pay for the park enhancements.