Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell recounted the history of the location of the St. Regis Hotel & Residences for approximately 700 construction workers, developers and guests at the building’s topping-out ceremony July 15.

Buckhead came into being there 170 years ago when a hunter hung a buck’s head as a trophy in front of Irby’s Tavern, Massell said. Buckhead was called Irbyville on the maps because the Irby family owned much of the surrounding land. But people started saying they would “meet at the buck’s head,” and the community’s name changed.

Massell wasn’t there then, but he was there in 1964 when ground was broken at the St. Regis site for a Sears department store. Illustrating Buckhead’s ongoing growth, the community’s unofficial mayor said he recycled the Sears ceremonial shovel for the groundbreaking 20 years later of the adjacent One Buckhead Plaza office building.

Massell complimented the construction workers on their safety record of 641,000 man-hours without a lost-time accident up to the moment of the ceremony.

The St. Regis Hotel & Residences, Atlanta, is Buckhead’s 25th hotel and brings the number of Buckhead hotel rooms to 5,356. SR Hotel Development is developing the hotel, expected to completed early next spring.

Bovis Lend Lease, host of the topping-out ceremony, is the contractor of record. Joe Rabun of Rabun Rasche Rector & Reece Architects designed the building, and Hirsch Bedner Associates is designing the hotel interiors.

Four renowned local interior designers made floor plans for the residences: George Rees of Rees/Design Associates, Oliver Carter of Neil/Carter LLC, Stan Topol of Stan Topol & Associates and Bill Harrison of Harrison Design Associates.

— John Schaffner