Trees Atlanta Celebrates the Life of John Portman, Visionary Architect and Friend of Atlanta’s Urban Forest

John Portman Celebrates the 100,000th tree planting with Trees Atlanta. Pictured (left to right): Trees Atlanta founder Marcia Bansley, John Portman, Trees Atlanta co-Executive Director Connie Veates, then-Mayor Kasim Reed, Lawrence Richardson, and Trees Atlanta co-Executive Director Greg Levine


On December 29th, Atlanta lost tireless architect and developer John Portman at the age of 93. While the world knew Mr. Portman for his unique designs and soaring skyscrapers, the staff and board of Trees Atlanta will remember him for his generous spirit and his deep appreciation for the urban forest in Atlanta, the city he called home for nearly his entire life.

“John Portman was a tree visionary for Atlanta,” said Trees Atlanta founder and board member Marcia Bansley. “He planted trees around each of his buildings before Trees Atlanta started. He was there at the planting of our 100,000th tree and celebrated with us.”

Mr. Portman was a supporter of many local causes, and his dedication to our city is evident through downtown and beyond. His designs explored the intersection of the built and natural environment, with his distinct open interior atria inviting in light and allowing indoor greenery to flourish. His support for Trees Atlanta has been instrumental in our growth over the past several years, and his legacy will live on not only in the buildings he designed and built, but also in Atlanta’s urban canopy, which would surely be a little less lush and green without the help of John Portman.