Last summer, plans for the construction of a gas station just to the west of Georgia Tech caused a stir. It wasn’t so much the gas station that ruffled feathers, but that the facility would replace a former bookstore known to generations of Tech students.
The potential loss of the Engineer’s Bookstore structure, housed in a modest brick commercial building constructed in 1930 as a convenience store, served as a rallying cry for preservationists concerned that the city was losing another vestige of its yesteryear retail landscape.
Now, thanks to that effort, the Atlanta City Council's Zoning Committee voted in favor of the creation of the Means Street Landmark District. The district would not only protect the Engineer's Bookstore, but also includes other period buildings — the Hotel Roxy, Atlanta Contemporary, Allied Factory Lofts, and the Carriage Works — from the district’s heyday in the interwar years.
According to the Atlanta Preservation Alliance, the vote passed with five members in favor, Councilman Alex Wan abstaining, and Councilman (and mayoral candidate) Kwanza Hall absent from the vote.
The full city council will vote Feb. 6 to make the designation official. Sounds like a step in the right direction.