Crum & Forster building – Court order preserves a third, rest to be razed

By David Pendered

The front third of the Crum & Forster building in Midtown will be saved, and the rest of the building razed, according to a consent order signed Tuesday by Fulton Superior Court Judge John Goger.

Crum & Forster

The front third of the Crum & Forster building, the building with the arches, will be partially demolished under a consent order signed Tuesday. Credit: David Pendered

These terms were reached Tuesday in an amended consent order negotiated by lawyers for the Georgia Tech Foundation and two defendants – the city of Atlanta and its Board of Zoning Appeals. The ruling appears to end a preservation battle that has raged since GTF filed a request for a demolition permit in April 2008.

Goger denied a motion to allow five interveners in the case, a ruling that affirmed a comment from a lawyer for the city who said all concerns of the proposed interveners were resolved by the consent agreement.

The five were represented by Mary Carol Cooney, a former deputy city attorney. Their possible next steps were not clear immediately after the ruling.

The consent order instructs the Board of Zoning Appeals to vote at its next regularly scheduled meeting “to render a decision consistent with the findings herein.” The BZA declined in November to vote for a consent agreement reached in September.

If the BZA declines to comply with the new agreement within 60 days of the order being signed, GTF may file an objection and the court instructed that it shall have all remedies available for enforcement, “including its contempt powers.”

Cooney had contended, during her oral argument, that the decision to preserve any of the building was reached only because of the presence of the proposed interveners.

Goger indicated he was ready for the matter to be resolved: “This case … has gone on way too long.”

The consent order provides a fair amount of history behind the case. The nine-page order includes a site plan that shows a sketch of the parts of the building to be demolished, the part to be preserved, and the fences to be erected to protect trees.

The property is considered part of Georgia Tech’s signature development, Tech Square. Tech wants to build a computer center on the block.

Click here to read Maria Saporta’s account of the intriguing context of the battle.

Signature corner at Tech Square

A book store anchors this signature corner at Tech Square. The Crum & Forster builidng is located a block in front of the red truck. Credit: David Pendered

Crum & Forster, preserved portion

The front third of the Crum & Forster building, including this arch, is to be preserved under a consent order signed Tuesday. Credit: David Pendered

Spring Street streetscape along Crum & Forster building

Green awnings mark the book store at Tech Square, and the Crum & Forster building is ahead to the left. Credit: David Pendered

 

 

Crum & Forster portion to be razed

These two, closest segments of the Crum & Forster building are to be razed, according to a consent order signed Tuesday. Credit: David Pendered

 

About David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with nearly 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.
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