Randolph Lucas House Saved!

May 31, 2013

The Atlanta Preservation Center has been advocating on the behalf of the Randolph Lucas house for the past twenty years and we are happy to say that it has found a new home on Peachtree Circle in the Ansley Park neighborhood.  We appreciate the dedication of the new owners to acquire, move and restore this wonderful piece of Atlanta’s history.

The home, currently at the intersection of Peachtree Road and Lindbergh Drive, has appeared on APC’s Most Endangered List and has survived over the past two decades with the help of many dedicated groups and individuals. The APC would like to thank all who have worked to get the Randolph Lucas house to the point where it can be moved and used once again as a residential property.  Buckhead Heritage Society has been spearheading this latest advocacy project of securing a new location and arranging safe passage with the support of the Atlanta Preservation Center, the Georgia Trust, the City of Atlanta and a host of other groups. For more information on the Randolph Lucas house, please follow the link to APC’s Endangered List by clicking here or follow the link to the Buckhead Heritage site by clicking here.

The Archive at the APC

May 24, 2013

BURNAWAY is a 501(c)(3) non-profit online magazine and destination for engaged dialogue about the arts. The organization uses weekly reviews, columns, interviews, and podcasts to promote conversations about the arts in Atlanta. The Sunday Supper series continues these conversations face to face.

On Sunday, June 9, 2013 beginning at 5:30 pm, BurnAway will present The Archive as part of its Sunday Supper series. The evening’s meal, lectures and conversations, will take place at the Atlanta Preservation Center’s LP Grant Mansion. The speakers, who will present both traditional and creative applications of the archive, are: Boyd Coons, Executive Director of the Atlanta Preservation Center; Richard Pearce-Moses, Director, Master of Archival Studies Program, Clayton State University; Tom Zarrilli, photographer and researcher; Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier, artist and visual mythologist; and, Art and Margo Rosenbaum, Appalachian folk musicians and oral historians.

One Eared Stag is graciously providing a three-course meal and drink pairings designed by Chef Robert Phalen and bartender Brad Wyatt specially for this dinner. One Eared Stag is known for their creative takes on Southern classics and has become a dining destination in Atlanta. The dinner table will be designed and dressed by Straw Hat Press. Each guest will also be taking home a special archival present of their own, made by the print makers.

The following biographies are courtesy of BurnAway.

Richard Pearce-Moses has been an archivist for more than thirty years, working with materials ranging from the world’s oldest surviving photograph to terabytes of electronic records.  Currently, he is the directory of the Master of Archival Studies Program at Clayton State University.  Pearce-Moses may be best known for his work as principal author of A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology.

Tom Zarrilli is an Atlanta based photographer, painter, conceptual artist and documentarian of ephemera. A long time Atlanta resident and student of this City’s history, Zarrilli relishes tossing a tasty salad of Atlanta historical facts, lies and innuendo towards who ever will listen to him.

Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier is a visual mythologist, a memory keeper.  She is guided by the idea of the journey, unmapped spaces and the magic that occurs when one goes looking for history and ancestors.  Her visual repertoire mythologizes and re-imagines historical incidences (especially those that are informed by race, gender, and stereotypes) using photography, painting, oral histories and primary source documents.  She uses these sources to tell the stories of the people in communities that she encounters.  Through the Journey Projects she focuses on toural communities (rural agricultural communities that rely on and/or are developing tourism), urban enclaves, and indigenous communities.  In many instances, culturally significant connections are revealed and spiritual connections are made.

Art Rosenbaum, born in 1938 in Ogdensberg,NY, is a painter, muralist, and illustrator, as well as a collector and performer of traditional American folk music. He earned his MFA in Painting at Columbia University and has worked in France on a Fulbright in Painting; he also has a Fulbright Senior Professorship in Germany. Among his exhibitions was the Corcoran’s 41st Biennial of American Painting, and his works are in many collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Columbus (GA) Museum. He has executed mural commissions at the UCLA School of Law and the Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia. His solo show in 2000 at the Blue Mountain Gallery in New York was reviewed in Art in America. Rosenbaum is Wheatley Professor in Fine Arts at the Lamar Dodd School of Art,University of Georgia and in 2003 was a recipient of a Governor of Georgia’s Award in the Humanities.

The APC is pleased to support this BurnAway program by hosting the event at the LP Grant Mansion.

Tickets are $75 and seating is limited to 60. To purchase tickets please visit the BurnAway site here.

Join the AUDC for a Free Preservation Month Tour

May 22, 2013

Historic City Hall image by John Dean

The Atlanta Urban Design Commission continues its celebration of Preservation Month and you are invited! The AUDC will present a complimentary tour, Insider’s Tour of City Hall, on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Situated on land that was previously used as headquarters by General Sherman in 1864, by Oglethorpe University and by both Atlanta Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools,Historic City Hall was designed by G. Lloyd Preacher and built in 1930. Its Neo-Gothic style sets the stage for the Atlanta Urban Design Commission’s tour.

The tour starts in the City Hall Tower Elevator Lobby and lasts about 1 hour. It focuses on the history and architecture of the City Hall Tower building, but it also touches on the political history of the City and includes some fascinating stories about the building and the events that have taken place within its walls. There is elevator access available for all parts of the tour and the walking distances are minimal.

The Commission’s staff and Commissioners are imperative to the preservation of Atlanta’s historic and cultural sites. The APC hopes you will take this opportunity to learn about this historic asset and to met and learn more about the AUDC.

More information is available here.

APC Summer Camp & Outreach

May 21, 2013

2012 Summer Camp children with Paul Hammock at the Sidney Lanier Monument in Piedmont Park (APC restored this monument in spring 2012)

From June 3 – 7, APC’s Education Director Paul Hammock will lead a week long camp for youth from the Atlanta Union Mission. This will be the third year of partnering with the Mission to provide new and positive experiences of the City and its history to these homeless youth. Attendees gather at the LP Grant Mansion each day to explore sites around the City.

The number of children APC is able to serve will depend on sponsorship dollars. To sponsor a child for a week of camp requires a $300 donation, but any donation amount is welcome. At the time of this newsletter five children have been sponsored and our goal is ten. Please consider helping APC reach this goal.

Contact Paul Hammock by phone 404-688-3353 ext. 13, or by email at paul@preserveatlanta.com, for further information or click here to donate online.

Box City in Action

Hammock has been working with the youth of Atlanta, demonstrating for them the value of historic preservation. During this school year he has visited 12 schools providing Box City® programs to over 250 children. Additionally, APC provided 15 Guided Walking Tours, Moving Sidewalks and History of Atlanta programs at no charge to over 300 students thanks to funding from the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs.

APC Staff Member Receives AUDC Award

May 17, 2013

At the annual Awards of Excellence ceremony on May 16, APC’s Events Coordinator Carolyn Stine McLaughlin received the coveted Jenny B. Thurston Award as one who exhibits the qualities of scholarship, leadership anddedication to preservation that Ms. Thurston possessed.  The APC staff and Trustees are proud to have Carolyn as a preservation colleague.

Carolyn Stine McLaughlin is a native of Atlanta.  She moved to Inman Park in 1997 where the engaging culture of the historic neighborhood introduced to her the importance and benefits of historic preservation.  While working as the Associate Director of a non-profit dance organization, she instigated, raised the funds for and oversaw the completion of a historic structure report for her neighborhood church.

In the fall of 2010 she began working at the Atlanta Preservation Center to manage its annual Phoenix Flies:  A City-Wide Celebration of Living Landmarks.  Through her appreciation for the City’s historic fabric, her marketing and technical expertise and her knowledge of the arts, the Celebration has continued to grow in size and scope.  Her skills and passion for preservation have helped the APC in its visual and performing arts programs to bring a new audience to preservation and encourage conversation about the importance of Atlanta’s history and unique cultural identity.

The Atlanta Urban Design Commission, along with the Atlanta Preservation Center, gratefully acknowledges the enthusiasm, expertise and fresh perspectives that Carolyn Stine McLaughlin has utilized to increase awareness of the field of historic preservation in the City of Atlanta.

Wonderful West End Events

May 16, 2013

The Atlanta Preservation Center is happy to share information about two upcoming events in the West End neighborhood.

Historic West End presents a Night Under the Stars: Candlelight Picnic & Concert. This West End Beautification Fundraiser will present two important musicians: soul and jazz singer Rhonda Thompson and international R&B crooner and drummer Tony Hightower. Ms. Thompson is the former background singer and soloist for soul music legend, the late Isaac Hayes. Mr. Hightower has been featured in Tyler Perry Productions.

This concert will take place at the Wren’s Nest,1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW, 30310, on Saturday, June 1 2013 from 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $250 for a reserved table of ten. Click here for the link.

 The following weekend offers an in-depth look at this important Atlanta neighborhood during its 2013 Tour of Historic West End Homes & Music Soiree: A Modern Look into a Historical Legacy. You are invited to experience a community beyond its bricks and mortar. This is an opportunity to tour beautiful historic homes, some transformed into state-of-the-art modern interiors and others preserved to reflect and honor the past. The tour includes sites of significance to the neighborhood as designated by the National Register of Historic Places. This neighborhood is both a City of Atlanta and National Register Historic District.

The tour will take place on Saturday, June 8, 2013 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased on line. Click here for the links. The tour will begin at the Wren’s Nest,1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW, 30310.

Fort Walker Work Day

May 14, 2013

Fort Walker, image courtesy of David Yoakley Mitchell

For some hands-on preservation during Preservation Month, join APC member David Yoakley Mitchell at a Fort Walker Work Day on Saturday, May 25 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Bring yourself, work gloves and hand pruners. The Fort is located at the southeastern corner of the park. Parking is available in the park; use 700 Boulevard SE, 30315 for mapping purposes.

Mr. Mitchell is the founder of MH Mitchell, Inc. a non-profit that seeks to support Southern history. MH Mitchell is partnering with the Grant Park Conservancy to restore Fort Walker which is located in Grant Park.

Fort Walker is one of the few extant remnants of a line which was critical in the defense of Atlanta. It is named for Major General W.H.T. Walker who was killed in the Battle of Atlanta.

Fort Walker, image courtesy of David Yoakley Mitchell

After Grant Park was established in the 1880s, a granite pedestal, a collection of four cannons, and two bronze lions commemorated the site of the Fort. After years of vandalism by park visitors and the theft of one cannon, the remaining cannon were removed in the late 1980s. The pair of bronze lions “disappeared.” Today, only a state historic marker remains. It reads:

Southeastern salient of Atlanta’s inner line of fortifications erected during the Summer & Fall of 1863. The line consisted of a cordon of redoubts on hills connected by rifle pits encircling the city, aggregating some 10.5 miles of earthworks designed & supervised by Col. L. P. Grant, pioneer citizen, construction engineer & railroad builder of Atlanta.

Decision Time: Historic Preservation Easements at the Crossroads

May 7, 2013

Written by guest blogger Angela Threadgill

Here in Atlanta, we’ve been serving up tax incentives through the use of historic preservation easements for 30 years.  Recognizing that a local preservation ordinance couldn’t cover all the bases, a successful alliance comprising of the city of Atlanta, Atlanta History Center and the Atlanta Preservation Center created Easements Atlanta, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to accept donations of historic building façade easements.  Historic preservation easements are the most ironclad means of ensuring the protection of historic resources well into the future. Not even local historic preservation ordinances can match the level of protection afforded by preservation easements over the long term.

Realizing the strong potential for easements to help achieve the nation’s preservation goals and to help offset the significant costs related to maintaining the donation, the federal government has allowed tax incentives for qualified donations of historic preservation easements since 1976.  Without getting into the details of the tax code, the deduction allows for an owner to subtract from his or her income the amount of the value loss in the property along with some of the transaction costs associated with donating the easement. This decreases the owner’s income, and consequently the amount of tax paid, and may even place the owner in a lower tax bracket.  Thus far, owners of 40 Atlanta properties have benefited from the federal income tax deductions of their qualified donations to Easements Atlanta, Inc.

Another key aspect with preservation easements is their widespread applicability.  It’s been well documented that federal and state rehabilitation tax credits spur investments, generate jobs, increase household income, attract visitors and revitalize downtowns.  No knock on rehabilitation tax credits – they are lucrative tools – but what if a historic building doesn’t meet the substantial rehabilitation test?  What about owners who have maintained their historic properties through thick and thin?  These circumstances aren’t contenders for rehabilitation tax credits. Conversely, historic preservation easements are well suited to these situations, in addition to rehabilitation projects.  Despite their widespread applicability, historic preservation easements have been used to preserve relatively few properties compared to the total number that could be preserved using this tool.  For example, a cursory survey of the Buckhead area suggests there are over 1000 historic properties eligible for historic preservation easements, yet only three have participated in the program.

On a national level, the IRS began to scrutinize the easement donation program on valuations of donations, variety of appraisal content, and even whether a preservation easement tax deduction incentive was justified.  This sent a shockwave through the preservation community, but it acted to save the core purpose. A compromise with Congress was reached in 2006 that preserved the incentives but added reasonable reforms to the tax code to help prevent abuse.  Since then, recent Supreme Court and tax court cases have turned out favorable rulings in support of qualified donations of historic preservation easements.  The bottom line is if a property owner has the desire to preserve their historic property in perpetuity, has a qualified appraisal, and has a qualified donation to an organization with a commitment to uphold the preservation easement restrictions, donors should feel secure to participate in the preservation easement tax credit program without fear of intervention.  Unfortunately, the preservation community is still suffering shell shock after the trials and tribulations.

The preservation community now faces a decision: will they choose to return to the pre-reform days and tone down their advocacy for preservation easement tax incentives or will they bond together to be proactive in their advocacy for this tool in an effort to expand its use and strengthen it?

  • Angela Threadgill serves as the Executive Director for Easements Atlanta, Inc., a non-profit organization that accepts historic preservation easements in the metro-Atlanta area.  Previously, she served as staff to the Asheville-Buncombe County Historic Resources Commission, Atlanta Urban Design Commission, and San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission.  Angela never thought her adventure would begin from a simple historic preservation poster in her tenth grade drafting class.

To learn more about Easements Atlanta please visit http://easementsatlanta.org/

Welcome to Conversations in Preservation!

In recognition of Preservation Month, the Atlanta Preservation Center is excited to begin a new series on the APC blog called Conversations in Preservation where guest bloggers from different backgrounds, areas of expertise and perspectives write a blog article that speaks to one of the many facets of preservation.  Our goal is to spark creative thought and constructive conversation by providing a place where preservation minded people can learn about projects, ideas, problems and concerns within Atlanta’s preservation community.

We encourage you to discuss these preservation issues with your friends and family and in your community.  Any way we can elevate the idea of preservation in the consciousness of those around us is a positive step towards making real and lasting change in the field.  Remember, “You can only care about what you know about.”  So help spread the word!

To become more involved with local preservation efforts please consider joining the Atlanta Preservation Center by selecting the Donate tab at the top of your screen and by attending our monthly Advocacy Committee meetings.  See more information at http://www.atlantapreservationcenter.com/advocacy_committee

Love and Preservation

These two topics may not seem to be connected, but in Ron Tanner’s memoir, From Animal House to Our House, restoration and romance are indeed related.

Award-winning writer and preservationist Ron Tanner makes a stop at the Atlanta Preservation Center– to offer a comic monologue about his funny, heart-warming book From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story.  Combining romance with history and humor, Tanner tells the true story of how he and his wife bought condemned property — a wrecked former frat house — and restored it to its original Victorian splendor. They knew nothing about fixing up houses when they started. In 2008, This Old House magazine featured their remarkable work.  Tanner’s talk includes an impressive slide show. Admission is complimentary and copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event for $15.00.

Ron Tanner’s awards for writing include a Faulkner Society gold medal, a Pushcart Prize, a New Letters Award, a Best of the Web Award, and many others. He has won fellowships from the Copernicus Society, Sewanee Writers Conference, and the National Park Service, to name a few, and his stories and essays have appeared in dozens of literary magazines. He is the author of A Bed of Nails (stories), Kiss Me Stranger (illustrated novel), and From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story (memoir). He teaches writing at Loyola University in Baltimore,Maryland, and directs both the Marshall Islands Story Project and the Preservation America project. He and his wife, Jill, live in a former fraternity house that they saved from ruin and renovated to its Victorian glory.

Click here for further details.