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Old Adair Park school to be reborn as affordable housing units

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Blocks from the Beltline’s Westside Trail, century-old brick building will become home to artists.

A two-story red brick school building with boarded up windows.
The old school as it currently looks.
Wendy Darling via Facebook

Construction could soon begin on the conversion of an old school building, abandoned for more than four decades, into affordable housing near the Beltline.

The old George Adair School, constructed in 1912 and disused since the 1970s, is slated to be transformed into the Academy Lofts Adair Park. According to information published on Facebook, the development will provide “35 affordable micro-units for live/work space targeting creatives and artists.”

Additionally, 2,500 square feet will be dedicated to loft-office space to serve nonprofits and small businesses; the old auditorium will be repurposed as a gallery and community events space; and the property will even host a small coffee shop.

Similar plans had been revealed earlier this year but were met with opposition triggered by the proposed retaining of the school’s old name. (George Adair was reportedly a member of the KKK.) The building, in limbo for years, was the centerpiece of a lengthy standoff between Atlanta Public Schools and the mayor’s office.

A brochure for the new lofts.
Academy Lofts via Facebook

Rumor has it, the development will bring no new parking to the neighborhood, instead relying on proximity to the Beltline and MARTA, as it’s located between West End and Oakland City stations.

The reuse of the beautiful brick structure would be a win for preservationist, bolstering the argument that old Atlanta schools can be repurposed for new uses. Other former school buildings in the city are not so fortunate.

Permits have been filed for abatement in the building, and a sign has gone up at the site, though a timeline for construction isn’t clear. Attempts to contact the developer haven’t been successful.