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Near Emory, new life on tap for midcentury building with unique history

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Structure neighboring Emory Village to be reborn for veterinary acupuncture and law offices, seller reports

The structure has stood along North Decatur Road since 1965.
The building has stood along North Decatur Road since the mid-1960s.
Photos courtesy of Atlanta Leasing & Investment

Since 1965, the boxy, minimal structure at 1534 N. Decatur Road has stood out among the regal mansions of Druid Hills and classical architecture of Emory Village next door.

While the work that happened inside captured headlines, the wear of decades left the building a bit long in the tooth. But that’s scheduled to change.

The Darden Research Corporation building recently sold—the price wasn’t disclosed—and plans call for a remodel, David Aynes of Atlanta Leasing and Investment, who brokered the deal, wrote in an email to Curbed Atlanta.

Quick history: Claibourne Darden Jr. bought the building in 1978 and operated his eponymous research corporation there, conducting survey and research work for Coca-Cola and bank mergers. The company also “famously called the 1980 presidential election within eight-tenths of a percentage point,” Aynes noted.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution once coined Darden “the South’s top political pollster.”

The new owner is Matt Stoddard, head of The Stoddard Firm, a small personal injury law firm currently based in Sandy Springs.

Aynes said Stoddard and his wife, Dr. Carrie Porter, will renovate and refashion the building as offices for the law firm and for Porter’s vet medicine practice, Veterinary Acupuncture of Atlanta.

Aynes added: “We’re happy to see this unique asset become the home base for two locally owned businesses.”