Atlanta has long been a city with lackluster preservation standards. But lately, preservationists have taken successful stands in favor of historic buildings.
Last month the preservation community rallied as a building near Georgia Tech — built as a five-and-ten-cent store in 1930 — was threatened with demolition for a gas station.
Soon, a groundswell of support emerged from those who felt the building lent to the character of the neighborhood, as well as Yellow Jackets who valued the building’s legacy as the Engineer’s Bookstore.
Now, the Atlanta Urban Design Commission has approved the nomination of Means Street as a Landmark District, which includes the building. An email blast by the Atlanta Preservation Center alerted members of the update, offering a glimpse into a future Atlanta with historic buildings spared from bulldozers' wrath.
The designation offers protection to the building, and what's more, the owner seems to have heard the hubbub. At the meeting, the owner announced the company has no plans to demolish the building, but will work with neighbors to identify a suitable alternative use.
News of the victory for preservationists adds to growing successes around Atlanta, which have included the Bell Building, the Forsyth-Walton Building, and the Trio Laundry. Meanwhile, the wheels are in motion for the landmarking of another threatened building, the former Trust Company Bank branch at Monroe Drive.
Sounds like a sea change for preservation in Atlanta is upon us.