New Demolition Threat to Crum & Forster Atlanta, Georgia – April 20, 2012 - Application for demolish of the Landmark building, Crum and Forester was filed on April 17, 2012. The APC is currently assessing the developments in this situation and will be reporting our analysis and the call-to-action in the near future.
The threat is three-fold:
Application by the Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc. for a permit to demolish approximately two-thirds of the Landmark building was filed on April 17, 2012. The application will be heard by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm at City Hall.
Councilmember Kwanza Hall introduced legislation to de-designate portions of this Landmarked property on April 16, 2012.
Destruction of the integrity of the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance.
The Crum & Forster building at 771 Spring Street SW was purchased by the Georgia Tech Foundation in December 2007. The Foundation applied for a Special Administrative Permit, a pre-requisite for applying for a demolition permit, with the intent to use the site for surface parking. This was denied by the Office of Planning in July 2008. The Georgia Tech Foundation’s appeal of this decision made to the Board of Zoning Adjustment was also denied.
The APC was involved in the effort to establish the building as a locally designated Landmark. The Atlanta Urban Design Commission’s process for this effort was followed and Landmark designation was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the City Council on August 17, 2009 and approved by the Mayor on August 25, 2009. The Georgia Tech Foundation sued the City and the Board of Zoning Adjustment challenging the Landmark designation by the City as well as the Board of Zoning Adjustments’ decision. The APC provided defense in support of the City’s decisions. The case is still pending in Fulton County Superior Court.
In addition to this challenge, the APC believes that further actions are threatening the survival of this Landmark building and the City’s preservation process. Please be on notice, as we will count on your support and offer an action plan in which you can participate.
HISTORY & SIGNIFICANCE
The Crum & Forster building, 771 Spring Street, was designed and built by New York’s Helmle, Corbett and Harrison in association with Ivey and Crook of Atlanta in 1926. Ed Ivey was the founding student of the Georgia Tech College of Architecture. The three-story structure is built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. Its most striking architectural feature is a façade with three soaring arches, supported by two columns which accentuate the front entrance.
Built for the Crum & Forster Insurance Company, the site is significant in establishing Atlanta as a regional center for insurance firms. Crum & Forster was the first national insurance company to open their own house in Atlanta.
Further information is available at www.PreserveAtlanta.com or by calling 404-688-3353 ext. 11.
Carolyn Stine McLaughlin
327 St. Paul Avenue, SE, Atlanta, GA 30312-3129
404-688-3353 ext. 11, www.PreserveAtlanta.com
ATLANTA PRESERVATION CENTER 327 ST. PAUL AVENUE, S.E. ATLANTA, GA 30312 PHONE (404) 688-3353 FAX (404) 688-3357
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.