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Constitution Building

What’s up with the Atlanta Constitution Building? Good question.

Recent developments suggest that implementation of a planned Lovejoy-Atlanta commuter rail service may be in jeopardy. As a result, construction of a new multi-modal transit facility in Downtown Atlanta may also be delayed or canceled.

A January 12th Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) article “Lovejoy rail backers lose DOT seats,” details political maneuvering resulting in the loss of two members of the state Transportation Board who had once voted to support the Lovejoy rail line. “Commissioners veer rail plan off path, “ a January 4th AJC report details the Clayton County Commission’s reversal regarding an earlier decision to cover the Lovejoy rail line’s estimated annual operating deficit of $4 million for 50 years.

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wall detail

UPDATE: Develoment plans for the site are detailed in the August 18, 2006 Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Atlanta Business Chronicle newspapers. According to the AJC, plans include “…a towering 48-story hotel near the Buckhead MARTA station…” and will “…have 300 rooms topped by 192 condominiums.” A rendering indicates that demolition of the Amisano church would be required for construction. A link to the AJC story (should stay active for several weeks):

Buckhead to get Hilton hotel, condos

The former Second Church of Christ, Scientist, 3372 Peachtree Road, N.E., Atlanta, is at risk. The church was completed in 1985-1986 and was designed by the firm of Toombs, Amisano and Wells with Joseph Amisano as lead designer. The congregation is no longer meeting at the site, and only the Reading Room is currently occupied.

Atlanta based Ackerman & Company purchased the Second Church of Christ, Scientist for $3.25 million for both the more than 15,000-square-foot church and the .64 acres underneath it. While no definite plans are announced for the site, there are major construction projects surrounding the site.

Second Church of Christ, Scientist, exterior
Read more about the purchase and site here.

elevation 2elevation 1demolition of curtain wall

UPDATE 3/17/2006 (New Photograph 6/25/2006 – Curtain wall demolition underway):

One of several video clips of the building implosion posted on YouTube:

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).

Please post your comments/observations regarding the building here.

In the February 8, 2006 Atlanta Journal Constitution:

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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Data sheets are now available about two threatened properties, 615 Peachtree Street (PDF, click here) and the Firestone Auto Supply and Service Store at 1052 Peachtree Street (PDF, click here).

Read earlier posts concerning 615 Peachtree Street and the Firestone Auto Supply and Service Store.

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