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Whatever happened to Brookhaven’s historic Goodwin House, DeKalb’s oldest?

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Displaced by the forces of development, the nearly 200-year-old home is stuffed somewhere in storage

A picture of the house when it was still assembled.
Another gentrification casualty in DeKalb?
Keizers, via Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta isn’t exactly known for its historic preservation chops, and every once in a while, a significant piece of the past withers away and is forgotten.

Lynda Martin hopes that won’t happen to her great-great-great-great-grandfather Solomon Goodwin’s old house, once a historic landmark of Brookhaven. A leading Atlanta historical preservationist is on her side.

Built in the 1830s, the so-called Goodwin House once stood proudly at 3967 Peachtree Road, where it served as a bustling rest stop along a popular wagon trail.

Today, the house sits somewhere in storage, disassembled piece-by-piece after being pushed off its home plot by the development forces of DeKalb County, according to Reporter Newspapers.

The Goodwin House—most recently located at 3931 Peachtree, after having been relocated via crane for development of a Buckhead extended stay hotel—was taken apart in 2016 to make way for an under-construction medical building.

A gray building under construction along a busy road with many cars.
The Peachtree Road medical complex, as seen in August, where the Goodwin House had most recently stood.
Curbed Atlanta

Martin told Reporter Newspapers she finds solace in the fact that a healthcare facility will stand in its place, but she frets what will happen to her late relative’s old log cabin.

In 2006, Martin sold the structure to Laurenthia Mesh, owner of Golden Triangle Holdings, the company that runs the Old Five Points Shopping Center at Ashford-Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry roads.

She trusted Mesh to preserve the house, and the new owner did just that—albeit, ultimately, by packing it up into storage, as the newspaper relayed.

What comes now for the Goodwin House remains to be seen, but Atlanta Preservation Center director of operations David Mitchell told Curbed Atlanta it’s important that the nearly 200-year-old structure finds a home for the long haul.

“Any relic of our past is precious, and to have a building that connects us to our beginnings is very special,” Mitchell said.

“But, as we continue to grow, how we sustain this building and what space it may inhibit further illustrates the ‘rub’ of how the past and future will coexist,” he continued. “The best outcome is that this structure can be placed and reconstructed in a space that is sustainable.”