Crum & Forster backers seek historic landmark status

Preservationists are continuing their quest to save the historic Crum & Forster building in Midtown.

The building has been endangered for nearly a year when its owner, the Georgia Tech Foundation, began seeking a demolition permit for a possible expansion of its Midtown campus.
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Ever since, the foundation has confronted a mass of opposition.

The city has denied ithe demolition permit, but the foundation is appealing that decision in the courts.

But preservationists have been working on another track — to get the Crum & Forster property designated as a landmark building.

Originally, the case to have it become a landmark building was to have been heard at this Thursday’s Zoning Review Board.

But the Atlanta Preservation Center has just been alerted by Bob Zoeckler that the Crum & Forster building landmark designation has been taken off this week’s ZRB calendar. It is expected to be on the agenda at ZRB’s July meeting.

That will be one of the last opportunities where the public can voice support for the landmark status. An email said “a good crowd will be critical” when that hearing takes place.

The email also urges people to send letters to members of the zoning board and the Atlanta Preservation Center, which will present all the letters as part of the case before the ZRB. The preservation center also has hired an attorney to fight for landmark status.

The Crum & Forster building was designed in 1926 and built between 1927 and 1928, housing the first regional office of a national insurance company. The building at 771 Spring St. was designed by the New York architectural firm Helmie, Corbett & Harrison and the Atlanta firm of Ivey & Crook.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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