May 21, 2013
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 email@example.com, for further information or click here to donate online.
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.
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.
May 16, 2013
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.
May 14, 2013
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.
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.
May 7, 2013
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/
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
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.
April 30, 2013
The Anniversary Photography Project Exhibit remains on view at the Drawing Room Gallery at the LP Grant Mansion through June 13 with gallery hours of Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Works by Shelia Pree Bright, Terrell Clark, Stephanie Dowda, John Dean, Jody Fausett, Jeff Keesee, David Yoakley Mitchell and Rob Simmons showcase the landmarks of Atlanta.
The Atlanta Preservation Center commissioned 81 images from these Atlanta area photographers that were used to commemorate the Decennial Phoenix Flies: A City-Wide Celebration of Living Landmarks. This annual event of the APC provides 16 days of more than 200 free events at historic sites throughout the City. The images were used as part of a printed program, in online listings, for public relations, in the exhibition and for a commemorative book.
The exhibit includes 24 select images from the body of work created, three by each of the participating artists. Shelia Pree Brights’ selections are of little known African American sites. Terrell Clark’s selections also highlight Atlanta’s African American historic sites. Stephanie Dowda’s included works are of a poet’s home, a cemetery and a famous golf club. John Dean’s exhibited works use his masterful editing to create super real images of the subjects. Jody Fausett’s exemplary use of lighting is demonstrated by the work on exhibit. Jeff Keesee’s images are of dramatic position or contrast. David Yoakley Mitchell’s three pieces include a cemetery dating from 1812, a marker of the Civil War and a detail from the Castleberry Hill District. The long-exposure shots by Rob Simmons provide dramatic interpretations of the Georgia State Capitol, Central Presbyterian Church and Lupton Hall at Oglethorpe University.
Exhibited prints are available for purchase from $325 to $775. In addition, a 90 page, hard-cover, commemorative book of all of the project’s images is available for $48.60 at the APC or online for $55.00, here. Prices include tax and shipping if applicable.
The mission of The Atlanta Preservation Center is to promote the preservation of Atlanta’s architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes through education and advocacy. The Center is located in the 1856 Lemuel P. Grant mansion which features a 680 square foot gallery in its Drawing Room. This gallery is host to exhibitions that underscore the Center’s mission. Its purpose is to demonstrate that the preserved environment is a valuable and inspirational part of the present.
April 24, 2013
May is Preservation Month. It was established as such by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1973. Events and activates are planned throughout the United States to “promote historic places for the purpose of instilling national and community pride, promoting heritage tourism, and showing the social and economic benefits of historic preservation.” There are hundreds of activities around the country during the month. Visit the National Trust’s website for more information, www.preservationnation.org
Here in Atlanta, the APC encourages you to do the following for Preservation Month:
Wednesday, May 22 – 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
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. Learn More
Watch for Guest Bloggers
Beginning this May, the APC will post blogs by guest bloggers from Atlanta’s preservation community. These advocates and educators will share different points of view on preservation, Atlanta and the work of the APC.
Be a Member of the APC
Are you a member of the APC? If you are, thank you for your support. If not, we ask that you consider joining. Your contribution benefits you, the APC and Atlanta.
Your membership fee supports the advocacy work and educational programming of the APC. APC is present at meetings throughout the City, acting as a voice for historically and culturally significant sites. APC is in the schools providing curriculum that demonstrates the importance of historic preservation. Many times, APC’s programming combines both advocacy and education. If you attended a Phoenix Flies event last month, you experienced this benefit first hand.
APC membership makes you an advocate for Atlanta’s past and future! Learn More
Attend an Advocacy Meeting
Learn how you can be the eyes and ears for Atlanta’s historic buildings and sites. Join the APC’s Advocacy Committee for its monthly meeting. Briefs on endangered sites will be shared and actions planned for advocacy. Learn More
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.
Click here see events details.
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 former Victorian glory.