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Advocacy Alert: Petition to Save the Bell Building

August 21, 2015

The Bell Building, originally built in 1907 and located in historic downtown Atlanta, is at risk of being demolished.  The Atlanta Preservation Center has had the historic Bell Building on its Endangered List due to rumors that GSU was planning to demolish the building for parking.

The classical three-storied building served as Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company’s switchboard.  The building features a brick facade and simple detailing; it is often noted for its large windows on the street level. A 1922 addition housed the matching switching technology that brought with it a true dial tone. More information on the building and the proposed plans comes from the Creative Loafing article available here.

There is now a petition asking that the building be preserved. We would appreciate your support in signing this petition.

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Advocacy Alert #2: Proposed City Ordinance 14-O-1366

September 23, 2014

Last week’s APC Advocacy Action Alert requested that you write Council members to oppose proposed City Ordinance 14-O-1366 which redefines historic neighborhoods as only those which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Current ordinance sections provide for historic assets which are eligible for the National Register.

The proposed Ordinance was referred back to Council’s Zoning Committee and is now on that Committee’s agenda for tomorrow – Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 9:30 am. 

 Please join fellow preservationists in City Hall’s Committee Room 2 to express your concern about this proposed change which affects the future of preservation in Atlanta.

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APC Comment Letter in Concern to Demolition of Friendship Baptist Church

May 9, 2014

May 8, 2014


Via Electronic Mail:


Georgia World Congress Center

Attn:  Administration/EER

285 Andrew Young International Blvd., NW

Atlanta, GA 30313-1591


Re:  Comments on demolition of Friendship Baptist Church


To Whom It May Concern:

The Atlanta Preservation Center is writing to express its concern over the fate of the historic Friendship Baptist Church.  As this very significant historic resource is now the property of the State of Georgia, it is our feeling that the State has a responsibility for the building’s preservation.  Friendship Baptist Church was listed on the National Register in 1976 as a contributing property to the Atlanta University Center District as detailed in a report by New South Associates.  The significant history of this property is well known.  Community support for the preservation of this building has been demonstrated.  The Atlanta Preservation Center urges you to consider alterations in planning to include the survival and adaptive reuse of this historic building.  The design of the new stadium complex would be much enriched by inclusion of historic Friendship Baptist Church, which would give context to the new project.

We appreciate your consideration of this request.


F. H. Boyd Coons

Executive Director


Cc:  Kyle Kessler, via email

Kevin Duvall, Chief Operating Officer, GWCC, via email

Frank Smith, Deputy Executive Director, State Properties Commission, via email



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Atlanta Preservation Center supports HB 308 “Georgia Prosperity Through Preservation Act” bill

February 6, 2014

On February 6th the Atlanta Preservation Center wrote the representatives sponsoring a bill in the 2014 Georgia Assembly that would amend Georgia’s Historic Rehabilitation Investment Incentive. The proposed bill would strengthen the state historic tax credit program by increasing the per-project cap from $300,000 to $5 million for income-producing buildings and allowing credits to be transferred to qualified investors and institutions with Georgia tax liability.  Read more about the proposed legislation in our previous post and see our letter below. Please contact your area representative to support this beneficial legislation.

2014.02.06 Ltr to Reps supporting HB308

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Historic Randolph-Lucas House Scheduled To Relocate on November 8, 2013

November 7, 2013

The historic Randolph-Lucas House is scheduled to be relocated from 2500 Peachtree Road in the Buckhead community of Atlanta to 78 Peachtree Circle in Atlanta’s historic Ansley Park neighborhood this Friday evening November 8, 2013. The house will be transported south on Peachtree Road from its intersection with Lindbergh Drive beginning around midnight on Friday night. It is anticipated that the house will reach 1301 Peachtree Street, a vacant lot owned by One Museum Square, by 6 a.m. Saturday morning. A temporary road has been built across this vacant lot, which is located across Peachtree Street from the Woodruff Arts Center, to the Peachtree Circle lot, which will be the permanent home of the Randolph-Lucas house.

The Randolph-Lucas House has been partially disassembled for its relocation. Since July, Complete Demolition Services has been preparing the house for the move, including removing the brick façade and the slate roof. The brick veneer will be cleaned and reinstalled after the wood-frame house is set on its new foundation. The slate shingles have also been salvaged for reuse. The exterior windows, doors, and dormers have been removed, carefully labeled, and will be reinstalled at the new location. The house will be split above the first floor and the roof will be hinged and lowered so that the house can be transported in two separate pieces. The maximum height of each section of the house will be 19 feet. Steel beams and wooden bracing have been installed to stabilize the sections during the relocation.

Low-hanging utility lines and traffic signals will be temporarily relocated during the relocation. Utility crews from Georgia Power; Comcast; AT&T; and the Wright – Brown Electric Co., a City of Atlanta Department of Public Works approved contractor, will accompany the house along its route, move any obstructions as the house approaches, and put back the lines and signals as soon as the house moves past the conflict. Police escorts will also accompany the house and temporarily reroute traffic at affected intersections.

Since February, Christopher Jones and Roger Smith, founders of NewTown Partners, have been working with the Buckhead Heritage Society, the 2500 Peachtree Condominium Association, the City of Atlanta, and other partners to coordinate the logistics of moving the structure, which is a locally designated Historic Building in the City of Atlanta. Jones and Smith will use the house as their primary residence once it is relocated to Ansley Park.

For more information on the Randolph-Lucas House relocation project, please visit

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E. Rivers Elementary School Celebration

September 5, 2013

The Atlanta Preservation Center invites you to celebrate the history of the E. Rivers Elementary School this Saturday, September 7, 2013.  Join alumni, current students, faculty and staff as well as architecture lovers to give this landmark building a proper send-off before it is demolished. Festivities begin at 11 am in the school courtyard on Peachtree Battle Avenue at the intersection with Peachtree Street.

Speakers will include alumnus Beauchamp Carr and Georgia Tech Professor of Architecture Dr. Robert Craig.

Photographers will be able to get up close and personal with the building for one last photograph.

Alumni and students will have the opportunity to participate in a memorial to be donated to the school.

Reservations are not required.

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A Rose on Peachtree: Photography, Videography & Artifacts

August 28, 2013

Photography by Jason Travis

Photography by Jason Travis

From September 20 – October 10, 2013, the Atlanta Preservation Center, in collaboration with M.H. Mitchell, Inc., will present A Rose on Peachtree. This exhibit honoring the 1901 Rufus Rose House on Peachtree Street will feature photography by Jason Travis, videography by Michael Morgan and artifacts from the R.M. Rose Distillery. The opening on Friday, September 20, 2013 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm will include a talk with the artists and collaborators at 7:30 pm. Gallery hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. The APC is located in the 1856 LP Grant Mansion, 327 St Paul Ave SE, Atlanta GA 30312.

One of Peachtree Street’s last remaining Victorian homes, the Rufus M. Rose House is a constant through decades of history on Atlanta’s most famous street. Travis and Morgan’s work will focus on the house in its present-day environment. Artifacts from the R.M. Rose Distillery including bottles, jugs, advertising materials and historic photographs will be on display courtesy of author and historian Jeff Clemmons. The Rufus Rose House has been on the APC’s Most Endangered Historic Places List since 2007. The APC and M.H. Mitchell, Inc. are celebrating the house through the arts to advocate for its preservation and to forge new connections within these communities.

The exhibition grew out of the summer internship of Jessica Sheppard with M.H. Mitchell, Inc. which was supported by the Atlanta Preservation Center. Sheppard is an undergraduate student of history with Dr. Scott Matthews at Georgia State University. She was charged with taking historical information about Rufus M. Rose and the historic home and “repackaging for a contemporary audience.” For her research she interviewed APC Executive Director Boyd Coons and APC member and tour guide Clemmons and examined APC’s extensive files on the efforts to preserve the structure. She shared what she learned with her colleagues who also became interested in the story of the house. Towards the end of the internship, Sheppard asked the APC to support her desire to continue to advocate for the house with an exhibit of Travis and Morgan’s art work. Clemmons then volunteered to lend his artifacts to enhance the exhibit.

Photography by Jason Travis

Photography by Jason Travis

M.H. Mitchell, Inc. is a non-profit that supports the preservation of Southern history. Led by David Yoakley Mitchell, the organization accomplishes this goal through education, protection, encouragement, research and promotion. Current projects include the Georgia Historic Marker Post Replacement Program and the restoration of Fort Walker in Grant Park.

The purpose 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 LP Grant Mansion has been home to the APC since 2002 and 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.

More information is available here.

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Good News for 45 Ellis Street

June 24, 2013

45 Ellis Street, Image Courtesy of Terry Kerns

Good news of a historic property’s “adoption!”

The four-story high brick building at 54 Ellis Street, a downtown landmark since the early 20th century, has been purchased by Atlanta Legal Aid Society which plans to move into the structure in 2015.

Built to house an Elks Club Lodge, the building has changed owners frequently.  Sold to the Salvation Army in the early 1940s, it was purchased by the Atlanta Union Mission in 1956 and later housed offices for a global contractor.

Kudos to Legal Aid for helping to secure the building’s future.

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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.