Georgia State University, often heralded as the catalyst of much of downtown's positive transformation in recent years, is catching a lot of flack over the planned demolition of a historic building in favor of a parking lot. According to an article in Creative Loafing, GSU hopes to demo the three-story Bell Building on Auburn Avenue, just east of Woodruff Park, and use the space as a temporary parking lot. The project would be bankrolled as part of a grant from the Woodruff Foundation that is going towards the repurposing of the SunTrust Building next door — which incidentally replaced the historic Equitable Building.
Dating back to the early 1900s, the three-story classical Bell Building was originally built by Southern Bell as a telephone exchange for the neighborhood. Preservationists argue that while the infrastructure is long antiquated, the brick building and its large windows are well suited for adaptive reuse. After all, just down the street, the Flatiron Building and the Olympia Building are being repurposed, retaining their historic character in the process.
Advocates for preservation have created a petition asking GSU to repurpose the building.
· GSU wants to demolish historic Bell Building; tentative plan calls for temporary parking lot [Creative Loafing]
· GSU's Efforts to Enliven Woodruff Park Area Continue [Curbed Atlanta]
· Flatiron's Future Comes into Focus with New Plans, Renders [Curbed Atlanta]
· Old Maps Reveal Compelling History Around Woodruff Park [Curbed Atlanta]