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Atlanta projects, volunteers honored with Georgia Trust’s historic preservation awards

The David T. Howard Middle School received the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation's highest award at an Oct. 11 ceremony. (Photo by Georgia Trust)

By John Ruch

Three Atlanta projects and two local volunteers are among the honorees of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual awards.

The local projects honored at the 44th annual Preservation Awards held Oct. 11 included Atlanta Public Schools’ David T. Howard Middle School, the Neighborhood Church and Georgia Tech’s Price Gilbert Memorial Library.

The Howard Middle School rehabilitation won the Georgia Trust’s highest honor, the Marguerite Williams Award, which is awarded to “the project that has had the greatest impact on preservation in the state.”

Neighborhood Church in Candler Park received an award for historic rehabilitation. (Photo by Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation)

Dating to 1923, the school at 551 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. in the Old Fourth Ward was built on land donated by its namesake David Tobias Howard, a former slave who became an undertaker and one of Atlanta’s first Black millionaires. The architect was A. Ten Eyck Brown, who also designed the Fulton County Courthouse and the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Attendees over the years included Martin Luther King Jr., former Mayor Maynard Jackson, Olympic high-jumper Mildred McDaniel and National Basketball Association Hall of Famer Walt Frazier. The school shuttered in 1976 but reopened this year with the rehab and additions.

“Howard Middle School serves as proof that preservation of significant historic resources can always be achieved, allowing tangible connections to the past to inspire new generations,” the Georgia Trust said in a press release.

The school project earlier this year also received a design award from the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.

Neighborhood Church at 1561 McLendon Ave. in Candler Park won an “Excellence in Rehabilitation Award” for work on structures dating to the 1920s and 1950s. “Overcoming initial doubt that the buildings could be saved and reused in a cost-effective manner, the rehabilitation of the Neighborhood Church illustrates how aging structures nestled in the City’s old neighborhoods are capable of being transformed into community assets with new life,” the Georgia Trust said.

Georgia Tech’s Price Gilbert Memorial Library won an award for sustainable rehabilitation. (Photo by Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation)

The Price Gilbert Memorial Library on Georgia Tech’s campus won an “Excellence in Sustainable Rehabilitation Award.” It’s part of a library makeover that previously included the renovation of Crosland Tower. Completed in 1953, Price Gilbert was designed by the late Paul Malcolm Heffernan, a Georgia Tech architecture professor who went on to head the program. The library was “cutting-edge” in its time, the Georgia Trust said, but required rehabilitation and better energy efficiency. “The final design ultimately transformed a well-designed but inefficient building into a technology-rich, people-centered space at the heart of campus,” the organization said.

Atlanta residents James Newberry and Jesse Grainger shared the Camille W. Yow Volunteer of the Year Award. The pair have been Georgia Trust volunteers for a decade and worked on such projects at a video tour of Rhodes Hall, the organization’s landmark Midtown headquarters, and a new project highlighting its historic preservation programs. Newberry is the special project curator for the Kennesaw State University Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books. Grainger is a producer and editor at his own company, Jesse Loves Atlanta.

The award ceremony was held in Macon. For more statewide winners and other information, see the Georgia Trust’s website.


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