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National NuGrape Company

National Register photograph by Yen Tang

The NuGrape Company of America began in Atlanta in 1921 as a soft drink company. It was an innovator in the 1920s by bottling its own drinks, now a standard in the beverage industry. The National NuGrape Company building, built in 1937, served as the national headquarters for more than 600 bottlers of NuGrape around the country and housed the advertising office and home laboratory for the company. The syrup was also made here and stored in 50-gallon oak barrels. The National NuGrape Company building is a three-story, wood-framed Stripped Classical style industrial edifice. With its brick pilasters and simple cornices, this building incorporates understated classical detailing on an otherwise unadorned facade. This style represents a transition between classically influenced architecture, with pediments and pilasters, and modern architecture, which is characterized by plain wall surfaces and little or understated stylistic detailing.

Advertisement for NuGrape Soda
Courtesy of SodaTraderZ.com

The exterior features a flat roof, stone cornice cap, blond brick on the front and west facades, red brick on the rear and east facades, steel-framed tilt factory windows with multiple lights, and brick pilasters with stone caps. The west facade has similar detailing as the front. The east facade has single-door entrances on each level to provide emergency exits by metal stairs. The bridge connecting the building to the rail spur is on the third level. Originally, the floor plan consisted of a first floor lobby, offices on the first and second floors and two large open spaces each on the first and third floors. The interior has been altered to consist of a first floor lobby and a lengthwise central hall on all floors with loft-style apartments.

The National Nugrape Company used the building from 1937 to 1971 when it was sold to Ryco Printing Company. After Ryco left the building in 1990, it was converted into apartments.

The National NuGrape Company building, 794 Ralph McGill Blvd., contains private residences and is not open to the public.

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