A historic jail in Grant Park could get a new lease on life as the center of a new mixed-use development. Plans circulating this week suggest the Atlanta Stockade building, which dates to 1896, could remain at the core of a 250-unit mix of townhomes, condos and apartments. Urban Realty Partners, who bought the building and surrounding property last year, is seeking to rezone the site for the development. But not all that's historic will likely last.
As expected, the plans necessitate the demolition of the former Atlanta Art Exchange, which was housed in the Art Deco "New Grant Park School" that dates back to 1930. And while the drawings seem to show that the 19th Century stockade and blacksmith shop buildings will remain and be reused as "creative office" space in the new project, there's no guarantee that that's how things will pan out. After all, Atlanta has a pretty tenuous relationship with preservation. With a contentious Fuqua project going up next door, let's hope the historic buildings remain to lend a greater sense of character to the neighborhood.