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615 Peachtree, south elevation

UPDATE:

Demolition to start in April 2006?

We understand that demolition is scheduled to begin in April and public access to the main level will end with the closing of the Wachovia branch bank (March 24th).

So go and visit the lobby while access is possible! Please post your comments/observations regarding the building here.

In the February 8, 2006 Atlanta Journal Constitution:

http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/stories/0208bizcousins.html

Writer Walter Woods describes a plans for “two condo towers, retail on site near Fox Theatre.” Descriptions do not include enough detail to understand the design, other than a general description of a 30-story residential high-rise facing Ponce de Leon Avenue and a second tower facing Peachtree Street. The story does not indicate that rehabilitation or adaptive use of the building was considered prior to the decision to demolish.

Tenants at 615 Peachtree Street, a modern landmark, have been evicted in preparation for demolition by Cousins Properties. Unfortunately, occupancy and design of the proposed development for the site has not been finalized, according to a recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article.

From the December 16-22 Atlanta Business Chronicle:

“Peachtree block to get face-lift” details Cousins Properties Inc. plans to “soon demolish the building [12-story Wachovia building] and neighboring garage to make way for a mixed-use project.” The next paragraph describes plans: “Exactly what the mix of uses will be, however, has not been decided.”

From the Fall 2005, DOCOMOMO/US, Georgia Chapter Newsletter (Jon Buono):

Originally commissioned by First National Bank of Atlanta (later purchased by Wachovia), the building was designed by Smith & Smith Architects of Atlanta. Francis P. Smith, a student of the noted American architect Paul Cret (1876-1945), moved to Atlanta in 1909 to become the first chairman of Georgia Tech’s newly established architecture department. He worked in that capacity until 1922 when he returned to private practice.

The next year he formed a partnership with established Atlanta architect R. S. Pringle. The partnership lasted until 1934, during which time Pringle & Smith designed several important buildings in Atlanta, including the Rhodes-Haverty Building (1928) and the William-Oliver Building (1930). Pringle retired in the 1930s, but Smith continued to practice independently. Smith’s son, Henry H., followed his father’s footsteps to the University of Pennsylvania, and after ending his military service in the 1950s, joined his father in practice.

Prior to 615 Peachtree, Francis had served as an architect to First National on numerous projects. The city’s widening of North Avenue, and subsequent narrowing of First National’s property at the intersection of Peachtree prompted the new commission. The client decided to raze an existing branch bank on site and develop the property for commercial office space.

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In 2005, the Chapter conducted interviews with Cecil Alexander, FAIA and Edward Daugherty, FASLA, important figures in Georgia’s post-war era design culture.

Interviewed amidst ongoing renovation work at the Alexander Residence (Alexander and Rothschild,1957), Cecil Alexander described the design and construction of the house, and later discussed in detail his career, projects, and observations about Atlanta and its architectural community.

At his home office/studio, Edward Daugherty discussed his education and early professional experiences. He described his involvement with a multitude of landscape, planning, and architectural projects, including work with significant local and national architectural firms. Edward illustrated this work using his collection of project drawings and photographs.

Read more in a forthcoming newsletter.

constitution building detail In October, the Atlanta City Council voted to transfer ownership of the historic Atlanta Constitution Building and associated property to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), despite statements by DOCOMOMO supporters and a request for further consideration of the issue by Councilwoman Mary Norwood. This action all but guarantees demolition of the building for construction of a new Multimodal Passenger Terminal. Prior to this vote, the Chapter repeatedly requested that the City Council require GDOT consideration of alternatives to demolition prior to property transfer. Over 800 individuals have signed a petition asking the GDOT consider alternatives to demolition.