By Maria Saporta
It’s so sad to see a historic home demolished – especially without a full vetting of all possible options to save it.
That was the case with the “Maddox House” designed by famous Atlanta architect Phillip Trammel Shutze at 3665 Tuxedo Road.
The relatively new owner of the house – Dallas Clement, the CFO of Cox Enterprises, said he would explore possible solutions to save the most historic elements of the house.
And less than 10 days later, the house was turned into rubble.
Why this turned out the way it did is multi-fold.
First, the city has work to do to make sure its historic buildings and neighborhoods are protected.
Second, the architectural community needs to have a bias towards adaptive reuse, preservation and conservation. Instead, the original architect – Bill Harrison of Harrison Design – recommended tearing down the house and designing a brand new house.
Dallas and Anna Clement would have been better served if Harrison had proposed a design that would have incorporated the Shutze house. Or Harrison could have proposed that the Clements buy a vacant property (ironically there’s one across the street) so that the Shutze house could have been saved.
The design also calls for the removal of 61 trees, another issue that Atlanta needs to address. We need to take every step we can to preserve our tree canopy. Having one homeowner be able to remove 61 trees so his family can have a grandiose house with a pool seems unfortunate at best.
The loss of another Shutze residence in Atlanta once again exposes our vulnerabilities of not being able to save the structures that need to be preserved.