Chandlee Construction Company razed an existing 3,000 square foot building on Cains Hill Place in August of 2013 just a few blocks west of Roswell Road. Seth Chandlee, Jim Chandlee and their crew demolished this existing one-story building and in its place has arisen a two-story building made of steel, stone, glass and large wood beams. The name of this newest north Atlanta establishment located in the premier shopping and dining area of Buckhead is BIG SKY. As the name indicates and the design exhibits the owners are presenting an experience straight out of the high mountains of the northwest – an area known for vast spaces and endless skies.
The property was cleared the week of August 26, 2013. The construction of the foundations and the rough-in of the utilities began on the third of September and by the twenty-third the erection of the CMU’s had begun. The first Tuesday in October found the concrete block walls reaching six feet high and by the fourth they were up sixteen feet – thus completing the first floor. Two weeks later the walls were sixteen feet higher completing the second floor. At the same time another crew was installing the steel support beams for the walls and in between the first and second floors. By Week 9 the installation of the structural steel had begun including the steel girders that support the floor between the two stories of the building.
When November arrived all of the wood framing including the walls on the second floor had started. Two days later the huge wood beams were delivered. (See the photo to the right). Seth Chandlee, co-owner of Chandlee Construction, commented on the company’s Facebook page; “and they expected us to unload this by hand!” It would not long before the beams could be clearly seen on the outside of the front of the building. Two weeks later the crew had placed the steel girders and began closing in the roof that is constructed of steel, wood and glass.
At this stage of construction the special ordered King’s Pine arrived for the bar tops of the three bar areas. Two of the three bar areas are equally large – one on each floor plus the third smaller bar located on the first floor. The upstairs bar is also accessible from an exterior steel stairway that leads up from the ground to a concrete porch. The bar areas have nine large glass, garage-type doors divided between them that fulfill the intended design of bringing the outside inside. The large amount of glass on the second floor affords a magnificent nighttime view of the Atlanta sky line. And when these doors are opened in the warmer months it brings in the summer breezes.
Once the structure was under roof in mid November, the crews moved forward on roughing in the interior mechanicals which included electrical, HVAC and plumbing. After insulating the interior walls the crew began applying the tile and placing pieces of reclaimed wood in specific patterns on the walls. The structure contains 12” x12” pine beams in the ceilings in a western log cabin style along with steel and glass. The exterior received its stucco finish along with support columns constructed of stone and wood.
At this stage in the project, Seth began implementing a building method his company is known for – fast track construction, to accelerate the speed of construction of the interior finishes and the exterior surfaces. First he added extra supervision to oversee the different subcontractors that were working on the project simultaneously. “Grease traps have gone in, the sewage lines are in, the plumbing drains are in, the interior electrical is roughed in, the exterior stucco is almost completed, and the bases for the stone columns are being set. All and all it is a good day at Big Sky,” said Seth on Thursday, December 5, 2013.
The construction was again ramped up beginning on Monday, December 29, when Seth, his support team and his various crews began working double shifts. They kept up this pace for fifteen days and nights accomplishing $1,000,000 worth of work. Seth had videographers from VH1 document this stage of the project along with some staged skits of what can happen on a construction site.
Seth and his crews pushed on through the snow and ice storm of the decade in late January as this project required many man hours due to the many handcrafted finishes in the design. One such item is a mural of a mountain scene in the upstairs bar painted by a local Atlanta artist. All that remained now were the finishing touches such as paving the parking lot, installing the kitchen appliances and restroom fixtures, completing the utilities including satellite television and all the electronics for the music and cash registers, bringing in the furnishings and on and on.
Seth is shown here between the owners of BIG SKY at the official soft opening on Friday, February 21, 2014.
The garage-type glass doors featured in the design of this project qualified Big Sky for a Zagat.com ‘Top Twelve’ list. The link to the original article is shown on our "News" page under the Media/News tab above. The website for Big Sky Buckhead Restaurant is https://www.bigskybuckhead.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/BigSkyBuckhead/ is the link to their Facebook page.
Big Sky is at 3201 Cains Hill Place in northwest Atlanta just off Roswell Road in the Buckhead neighborhood. Update: Atlanta’s Jezebel Magazine voted Big Sky Buckhead “the Best Bar Overall” in 2018.