The Big Chicken is a local landmark in Marietta, Georgia, built at the city's biggest intersection of Cobb Parkway (US 41) and Roswell Road (Ga. 120) - - exact address 12 Cobb Pkwy N, Marietta GA 30062. The eyes on the structure spin around in a circle while both parts of the beak move up and down.
In 1963, Johnny Reb's Chick, Chuck and Shake owner S.R. "Tubby" Davis erected the 56-foot (17-meter) tall structure over his restaurant as a method of advertising. It was designed by a Georgia Tech student of architecture and fabricated by Atlantic Steel in nearby Atlanta (of which Marietta is now a suburb). Davis later sold it to his brother, and it became a franchise of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In January 1993, storm winds damaged the structure, and rather than tear it down KFC was forced by public outcry to re-erect the building. Among those who complained about the Big Chicken being torn down were pilots, who actually used the building as a reference point when flying. The new Big Chicken even includes the original design of beak and eyes which move, although this time the vibrations which plagued the first structure (even to the point of breaking windows) have been eliminated.
It has also led to a small cottage industry of sorts, selling souvenirs emblazoned with the monument, including one sweatshirt showing Big Ben in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rome, and of course the Big Chicken in Marietta.
- The Big Chicken Information on Marietta's favorite landmark
- Albert C. Smith and Kendra Schank, "A Grotesque Measure for Marietta", Journal of Urban Design, 13574809, Oct99, Vol. 4, Issue 3.