August 25, 2014
UPDATE 8/27/2014: The Atlanta Housing Authority has halted demolition of the Trio Laundry, indicating that it will reach out to the preservation community for options. Thank you to everyone who called and emailed — it worked. However, it’s not over yet. We are going to look at the root causes of this issue, so please stay tuned and help us follow through. Click here for more information.
For continuing updates please visit the Save the Historic Trio Building Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/triolaundry
The Trio Laundry Dry Cleaning Building at 20 Hilliard Street, built in 1910 and having survived the Great Fire of 1917, is a contributing structure in both the local MLK Jr Landmark District and the National Register’s MLK Jr Historic District. This area has been on the APC’s Most Endangered Historic Places List since 2005.
The property was purchased in 2009 by the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) with no plans for redevelopment beyond remediation of soil and water contamination. By 2011 part of the building’s roof collapsed. Because the roof was not repaired or the structure stabilized, the building has continued to deteriorate to the point that the City of Atlanta condemned it in December 2012 due to “immediate hazardous conditions to neighboring properties and the general public.” In June 2014 AHA applied for a demolition permit and, without any public notification or community engagement, the City issued a demolition permit in August 2014.
Demolition is currently taking place as of Monday August 25, 2014
As a contributing structure in both the local MLK Jr Landmark District and the National Register’s MLK Jr Historic District, we believe its demolition should have been put before the Atlanta Urban Design Commission (AUDC), so the Atlanta Housing Authority would have had to make a case for demolition to the public and a commission of appointed building and preservation professionals.
Statute Sec. 16-20.008d states plainly:
To prove the existence of a threat to public health and safety, the applicant must establish, and the commission must find, the following:
(i) Demonstrate through independent analyses and supporting information that a major and imminent threat to public safety exists;
(ii) Present all reasonable alternatives for rectifying the threat and analysis of all such alternatives; and
(iii) Demonstrate that the costs associated with rectifying the threat would create a condition whereby the investments in the project are incapable of earning a reasonable economic return.
We ask that you immediately call your councilperson, the Atlanta Housing Authority and the Mayor’s office and demand that demolition stop immediately and that the process to go through the AUDC.
Click here for more photos and to view architect and preservationist Kyle Kessler’s notes of public documents that have transpired concerning this issue.