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Atlanta officials nix preservation requirement for downtown’s Constitution Building

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Constructed in the 1940s, Art Moderne structure has sat derelict and vacant for decades

The Constitution Building as it appeared when it opened, and today.
The Atlanta Constitution Building as it appeared when it opened, and today.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

Just when preservationists think Atlanta is finally moving toward a future more sympathetic to the city’s built history, the city pulls a fast one.

Back in October, city officials issued a request for proposals by developers interested in adaptively reusing the Atlanta Constitution Building adjacent to The Gulch. The wording of the RFP specifically noted that a primary objective of the project was to “reuse and/or adaptively reuse” the building.

Cue history buffs rejoicing.

However, according to Creative Loafing, the city amended the RFP right before Thanksgiving, adding that the building was a candidate for demolition and replacement.

The amendment removes the reuse of the building as a primary objective and notes that proposals will be accepted that include demolition of the Art Moderne structure, which has seen better days. (For a look inside the building, slip on a hazmat suit and head over here).

Proposals can include residential and commercial uses that are determined to be the “highest and best use” of the site. The redevelopment of the Atlanta Constitution Building would tack on to the western end of the proposed redevelopment of Underground Atlanta.

The preservation community was quick to express frustrations with the city through channels including the Atlanta Preservation Alliance and a dedicated Facebook page Save the Atlanta Constitution Building.

Responses to the RFP are due on Dec. 15, with the winning proposal expected to be announced some time in the new year.

In somewhat related news, the Atlanta Urban Design Commission recently voted to nix a plan that would have granted Kirkwood’s Pullman Yard status as a Landmark, making it extremely difficult for developers to wipe the 28-acre site clean, WABE reports. Regarding Pullman Yard’s future, city officials said they’ll go back to the drawing board with the state, which owns the site.