The Lifecycle Building Center’s massive warehouse space in southwest Atlanta could look familiar, as it was recently featured in the Walking Dead and that CBS reboot of MacGyver. If its purpose sounds noble, you’re probably a goodhearted human being.
Up the street from Fort McPherson, in a century-old warehouse on Murphy Avenue in Oakland City, Lifecycle Building Center is like a grand mausoleum filled with remnants of the city’s old office buildings, movie sets, and myriad purged and razed homes. The inventory includes everything from inimitable old doors to spiral staircases, fish tanks, and (sometimes) cast-iron clawfoot tubs with brass hardware.
Without this 70,000-square-foot compound — which is near the Beltline’s Westside Trail and getting more desirable by the day — 2 million more pounds of material would have ended up in local landfills since 2011.
LBC leaders have had reason to celebrate in the past few weeks. After renting the facility for five years, the 501(c)3 non-profit secured a loan and bought the property. The deal closed last month, leaders said during a recent visit.
The center’s retail store is open to the public five days a week, and in recent years they’ve donated building supplies to 85 organizations. Their stated mission is to “reduce solid waste disposal, promote resource efficiency, stimulate economic development, and empower every citizen to improve their own built environment.”
In a 2013 profile, Creative Loafing described the Lifecycle Building Center (then a 2-year-old operation) as the brainchild of a Perkins+Will architect and green-construction pro “that strips soon-to-be-razed buildings of valuable, high-quality materials and sells them at fire-sale prices. Everything here costs roughly one-third to half what you'd pay in a retail store. Window blinds run 25 cents. Plantation shutters cost $10 or $20 a pair. And a stove can start as low as $35.”
As part of the ongoing Visual Journeys series, we recently toured the complex to see what the sustainable, philanthropic fuss is all about.