Originally Posted by bigstick
Once you see it in person, it is very memorable and impressive, and will age well.
I agree! I love the idea of the Gate simply for the fact that the Southern cities, being so much younger and more recently developed compared to the Northern cities, do not have as many notable monuments, especially of a classical style. With their increasing vitality and presence on the world stage, they are more than entitled to a few of their own.
In response to the commentary that the surroundings don't provide a suitable setting for such a monument or that it's a frivolous folly, consider the Washington Square Arch here in New York. When it was built (1892), New York was only just beginning to rise to prominence on the national and world stage (not unlike Atlanta since the '96 Olympics). The arch was not built in a heavily trafficked and prominent district (at the time, Greenwich Village was merely another newly built-up residential neighborhood in Lower Manhattan) and NYU was not nearly the monster institution it has become today (it only began to expand to more than one building within the village in the early 20th Century). I could even go so far as to say that the surrounding townhomes, today beloved and revered, were almost inconsequential in the late 1800s (that style of townhome was being built by the thousands throughout New York and was targeted toward the middle class that was growing in the industrialized city).
The story in Atlanta may be different, but it draws several parallels. In addition to Atlanta's present (rising) position on the world stage, Atlantic Station is basically a brand new neighborhood. Given some time it will weave itself into the urban fabric of Atlanta in a big way.
As far as major institutions or destinations, you have the planned transit village at 17th and Northside, and even if that never comes to pass, the amount of undeveloped (and underdeveloped) land in the area will become highly desirable as more transit options snake through the city. I've always felt 17th was a ripe corridor for a crosstown transit line in the future, and it's worth noting that the nearest subway station to Washington Square, West 4th Street on the A/C/E and B/D/F/M lines, didn't open until 1932, 40 years after the arch and much of the surrounding neighborhood was completed.
Going a step further, the style of condo/apartment buildings flanking the greenspace home to the Millennium Gate may seem inconsequential or unremarkable now. However, seeing as similar styled buildings are popping up all over Atlanta's urban center (not unlike the brick and stone townhomes of old New York), could these geometric, sunshaded and glass balconied buildings not become this city's style of housing stock that defines it in decades to come? You may have mixed or negative feelings about the building style now, but for your kids and grandkids, that may be the Atlanta they come to know and adore.
Just my thoughts, but yes, I appreciate the Millennium Gate and think it's an asset to Atlanta. Such seemingly unnecessary but lovely urban landmarks are what give our cities soul in addition to function.