Think of architecture and one name certain to come up is that of Herman Russell, the man who not only designed the first Hyatt Hotel, but also physically took part in its construction. Built in 1967, the Hyatt was the first major downtown hotel to welcome Black people in a time when racial segregation in America was the norm. From the Hyatt to numerous other buildings, Herman Russell has been credited with being a “jewel” for Atlanta. He is seen as a man who made a difference. And on Monday 18th February 2012, the City of Atlanta came out to honour him during the 10th anniversary of the Heritage Celebrations. At the event, Mr. Russell was presented with a Crystal Award and $100,000 worth of stay at any Hyatt hotel anywhere in the world. The event was hosted by WXIA anchorwoman Karyn Greer and attended by high profile personalities such as Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jnr. Beautiful jazz singer Kathleen Bertrand did a heartfelt reindition of Mr. Russell’s favourite song, ‘I Did It My Way' especially for him. A variety of food, drinks and desserts were placed in strategic places around the ballroom and was available throughout the night.
|Herman Russell, Bernice King and dignitaries|
|with the former Mayor of Atlanta|
|With Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jnr.|
|With Martin Luther King Jnr.'s sister|