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Concrete Church Could Go Way of Dante's: Down the Hatch

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Land along Peachtree Road in Buckhead is worth a king's ransom these days. The piddly one-story developments that have lined the road for decades have steadily been replaced with high-rises. And the death knell could soon toll for one of the last hold-outs near Lenox Square: the brutalist concrete block of a building known as the Christian Church Buckhead on Peachtree Road near Ga. Highway 400, reports BuckheadView. The 2.3-acre site sits adjacent to the new SkyHouse development and just down the street from Cyan — which rose on the land occupied by another hold-out: Dante's Down the Hatch. The Related Group, the developer behind the failed CityPlace project down the street, is under contract for the church and land and will present a proposal for a high-rise on the site at the next Development Review Committee.

Built in 1985 as the Second Church of Christ, Scientist, the building is an iconic brutalist work by Toombs, Amisano and Wells. In addition to the sanctuary building, there's a tiny concrete outpost at the corner of Peachtree and Stratford roads that serves as a pawn shop. The site is in a primo location, adjacent to the Buckhead MARTA station at the precipice of Ga. Highway 400. If plans fall into place, the project could bode well for the transformation of the highway gulch into a 9-acre park.

This isn't the first time the church has been threatened with demolition in the last decade. In 2006, Ackerman & Company bought the church and a paltry .64 acres of land for a staggering $3.25 million to complete a 13-acre chunk bounded by Peachtree, Stratford, Ga. Highway 400 and Lenox Loop. Back in pre-Recession Atlanta, plans called for a 48-story tower with 300 hotel rooms topped by 192 condo units. Of course, a very similar vision came true next door to the church in the 42-story Mansion on Peachtree — now known as the Mandarin Oriental — but the church stayed put.

When the 2006 plans fell through, the church was reincarnated with a new congregation. This time around, with the economy chugging and similar developments fetching top-dollar, this unique church's days could truly be numbered.

· High-rise apartments may replace Christian Church of Buckhead [Buckhead View]
· Second Church of Christ, Scientist, UPDATED [DOCOMOMO/US, Georgia]

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