5 Things You Didn't Know About The Big Chicken
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5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Big Chicken

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The Big Chicken in Marietta is not just a landmark; it’s a cultural icon with a quirky and fascinating history. This article delves into some lesser-known facts about this giant poultry structure that has been catching the eyes of locals and tourists alike for decades.

A Unique Start as an Advertisement

The Big Chicken was built in 1963 as a novel form of advertising for Johnny Reb’s Chick, Chuck and Shake restaurant. S.R. “Tubby” Davis, the owner, installed the 56-foot structure over his restaurant to attract customers along the newly constructed stretch of Highway 41 in Cobb County​​.

An Architectural Student’s Vision

The design of The Big Chicken was the brainchild of Hubert Puckett, a Georgia Tech architecture student. The structure was then fabricated by Atlantic Steel in nearby Atlanta, blending novelty architecture with practical advertising​​.

A Landmark Saved by Public Demand

In 1993, storm winds severely damaged The Big Chicken. KFC, which had acquired the site, planned to demolish it, but public outcry, including concerns from pilots who used it as a navigational aid, led to its restoration. The reconstructed landmark retained its original moving beak and eyes but without the troublesome vibrations of the earlier design​​.

A Major Renovation in 2017

In 2017, The Big Chicken underwent a significant $2 million renovation. This twelve-week project incorporated KFC’s newest design elements and added a gift shop, reinvigorating the landmark for the future​​.

It’s Marietta’s Version of GPS

The Big Chicken has become a cultural icon in Marietta, used frequently as a reference point for directions. Its impact on local culture is evident in various aspects, from a gift shop selling memorabilia to its comparison with global landmarks like Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower​​.

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