Actual Factual Atlanta: Where’d the giant spinning rock in Midtown go?

Rockspinner, a boulder found in the Nevada mountains years ago, was installed at the intersection of Peachtree and 10th Street in 2013.

Rockspinner, a boulder found in the Nevada mountains years ago, was installed at the intersection of Peachtree and 10th Street in 2013.

Welcome to "Actual Factual," a regular column in which I answer reader questions about goings-on in Atlanta. Here's one I did recently about why there are horses near a brewery in Grant Park.

Now that you're familiar, you'll find information for submitting your own questions at the bottom. 

Reader Gene asks: What happened to Rockspinner and was that the sculpture created by Zac Coffin?

Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Gene. I hear you want some info on the whereabouts of the 22,000-pound granite boulder that sat atop a spinning base in Midtown for more than three years. It's understandable, as the thing was pretty famous locally; it even has its own "rockumentary" featuring Baton Bob.

And you're right, the art piece was created by Zach Coffin. The work at the intersection of Peachtree and 10th Street was recently replaced by Autoeater, a 16-ton marble sculpture with a car sticking out of it.

So here's where the rock went after spinning its last Midtown spin in early April. Try not to get too choked up about the distance.

The Rockspinner, after being dismantled in Midtown, was shipped directly to California. It'll soon be installed at its new home: the entrance of a giant mixed-use industrial arts space in Oakland called American Steel Studios. Coffin, who used to live in Atlanta, moved to the state about four years ago.

Coffin said having the Rockspinner at 10th and Peachtree was a great experience.

“It was unexpected to me that Midtown Alliance would agree to such a daring piece and we received great feedback,” Coffin said in an email. “I am happy that people of Atlanta were so positive about the piece and hope that location becomes a place of daring and provocative art moving forward.”

Coffin originally formed the piece for Burning Man, an annual culture and arts event held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. He doesn't plan to show it at the event again, but it may go out on different tours.

The artist is currently finishing a commission piece in Colorado, and is going to Poland in September to select a rock and coordinate the installation of a new Rockspinner for the entrance of the Copernicus Science Museum in Warsaw.

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I am a staff writer with the AJC and a lover of Atlanta, my adopted home for nearly six years after moving to Georgia from Florida. To submit “Actual Factual” questions, contact me at, @BeccaJGGodwin on Twitter or via the form below. Thanks.