The City: Villages in the Sky

In the heart of Atlanta is rising Peachtree Center, a $175 million com plex that already includes the 22-story Merchandise Mart, three office build ings, a bus terminal with a 2,000-seat theater, and the new, 800-room Regency Hyatt House. Soon to be added are a 70-story office skyscraper and sev eral high-rise apartment buildings. As a civic enterprise, it would do justice to any U.S. city. What makes it all the more remarkable is that the whole of Peachtree Center has gone up without a penny of public funds.

Prime mover behind Atlanta's...