By Maria Saporta
As currently envisioned, Georgia Tech would redevelop the Crum & Forster block and keep more than the historic building’s facade but would want to tear down part of the building.
Lisa Grovenstein, Georgia Tech’s director of media relations, sent SaportaReport a couple of emails on Tuesday to elaborate further on the university’s conceptual plans for the block bordered by Spring Street, Fourth Street and West Peachtree Street and Amstead Place.
“In regard to your column on Crum & Forster, after checking with a number of people, I wanted to provide additional insight on future plans for that block of Technology Square,” Grovenstein wrote.
She went on to say:
“Because of the location and proximity of Technology Square and access to high speed fiber networks on West Peachtree, Georgia Tech is evaluating the possibility of placing a high performance computing center (HPC) on the same block as Crum & Forster and integrating the new facility with the front portion of the Crum & Forster building.”
She added that “the HPC, which is only in the conceptual planning stage at this point in time, has the potential to enhance economic development in the Technology Square area as well as create new construction jobs and employment opportunities generated by the technology companies that might eventually locate in the vicinity.”
I then asked Grovenstein how much of the Crum & Forster building would be preserved as part of the development. Preservationists have been trying to save the entire Crum & Forster building reacting to Georgia Tech’s original application for a demolition permit.
“Until Georgia Tech makes a final determination on how that entire block will be developed, specifics are unknown,” Grovenstein responded. “From what I understand, it is anticipated that the front portion of the building — more than the facade — would be preserved.”
I still haven’t heard from the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office about whether a legal settlement is in the works between the city and Georgia Tech and whether Reed would fight to keep Crum & Forster’s landmark status.
If I hear from the city, I will let y’all know.