Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company Plant
The Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company Plant is the oldest surviving structure directly connected to the early production of Coca-Cola. The structure served as the headquarters for Coca-Cola's parent company, Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company, from 1900 to 1901. A uniquely shaped building located on a corner, the Victorian-styled structure itself was built in 1891 and originally served as living quarters on the second floor and housed shops on the first floor before transforming into the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant. During its time operating as the Bottling Plant, the offices were located on the second floor and the factory for syrup production in the basement.
Backstory and Context
Asa Candler, head of Coca-Cola, was largely uninterested in bottling the popular soft-drink. "Coke," as it was popularly called, was primarily distributed by taps at local soda shops through the 1880s and into the 1890s. Candler was solicited by a number of individuals who wanted to bottle the drink. Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead gained exclusive rights to bottle Coca-Cola and distribute it throughout the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest. Thomas opened the first plant in Chattanooga and Whitehead (with investor John Lupton) opened the second in downtown Atlanta. Whitehead began marketing the product and the business quickly outgrew the original facility. The structure was designated a national historic landmark in 1983 and today houses the Georgia State University Baptist Student Union.
Sylvest, John D. "Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company Plant." National Parks Service - National Register of Historic Places. July 20, 1977. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/e751a059-f13b-43be-8f05-51a1bc685583.