The Healey Building was the last major “skyscraper” built during the first great burst of multi-story commercial construction preceding World War I. In fact, it was World War I which led to the alteration of the original design, which called for twin towers connected by a rotunda. Only the west tower and rotunda were constructed before World War I broke out. The death in 1920 of William Healey forestalled continuation of the project after the war. According to Dr. Elizabeth Lyon in her National Register of Historic Places nomination, “The Healey Building has an elegance and high shouldered dignity which make it outstanding among its contemporaries.” Those contemporaries include the Chandler, the Flatiron and Hurt Buildings among others.
Although certainly distinctive for its physical appearance and location, the Healey Building is also associated with significant individuals in Atlanta history. Thomas G. Healey and his son William T. Healey were political and business leaders in the city – in the case of Thomas, dating back to pre-Civil War times. Their contributions to Atlanta’s architectural history as contractors and businessmen are numerous and significant. In addition to the Healey's, the architects Thomas Morgan, John Dillon, and Walter T. Downing have left an important body of works as monuments to their skill and abilities.