What’s big and red with a clucking beak and a giant eyeball that spins?
The Big Chicken, of course!
The big chicken has been a Marietta, Ga institution since it hatched on the scene in 1956. The chicken is 56 feet tall and is located in one of the biggest intersections so all directions revolve around, “take a left at the big chicken!,” “hang a right after you see the big chicken,” and so on. The renovated Big Chicken looks great- it doesn’t seem to have the moving comb anymore but we can overlook this just as long as the bird is still the word in Marietta.
As a child in the early 70’s there was nothing more exciting than looking out the backseat window of the car (carseats? carseats? we didn’t need no stinkin’ carseats?….well, we did but we just didn’t know it. I still have nightmares of Momma throwing her right arm as she was breaking the car to keep me from flying off the front bench seat next to her.) to determine if the beak , comb AND eye would be moving.
So, the next time you’re “cruising down the Atlanta Highway” keep your eyes open to be the first to spy the big chicken!
This lovely picture is from http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2357071700082280652jnaWxv
I wish I knew about The Big Chicken while I was going stir crazy in my hotel room in Atlanta for four months in 2004 when I was there tweaking my musical, The Color Purple, for four months before it opened at The Alliance Theater. I would’ve been at the Chicken every day!
I really wish there were more markers around Atlanta like this as so many streets are named Peachtree it took every last nerve of mine to find any place I was going to because all anyone said to me was turned right or left or go straight on Peachtree.
Has this always been a KFC or was it originally independently owned?
Sorry to hear that the comb no longer moves anymore. These kind of giant landmarks in cities should always be preserved as originally conceived as far as I’m concerned.
I wish I had known you then because I could have shared info that would have filled up days and days of cool things to do, places to visit and great restaurants. If you’re making another Atlanta trip, let me know and I’ll do just that. (Or, better yet, I’ll come back south and show you around myself.)
The restaurant called Johnny Reb’s was located there (built in ’56) and the chicken was added in ’63. Later it was sold and became a KFC. Always wondered what the Colonel thought about it.
There was a storm that did significant damage so the Big Chicken was rebuilt. I’m guessing it was at that time the comb wasn’t replaced.
( Even being a Georgian, I’ll agree with the overuse of Peachtree as a street name. It’s everywhere and is extremely problematic when you’re trying to help give directions. )
I love the Big Chicken…