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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight

His Tower Of Power

A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

July 27, 1996|DOUG CRESS

It may not be the official Olympic torch, but the 12-story steel torch tower that sits directly across Interstate 85 from the Olympic Village has attracted just as much attention. Erected by local real estate developer Taz Anderson, 58, the $2-million green tower with a gold torch on top is simply his way of ensuring that Atlanta has an Olympic legacy.

"I've been to the Olympics before and seen how temporary most of it is," he said. "Atlanta is no exception. Ninety days from now, you won't even know there was an Olympics here."

Anderson, a former NFL player with the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons, charges $2 to climb the 123-foot tower, and said business thus far has been good. But he admits the entire concept of the torch tower has riled Atlanta Olympic officials.

Said Anderson, "I never expected to be popular with ACOG, but one of the wonderful things in life is that ACOG doesn't issue building permits for the city of Atlanta."

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