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Among the more recognizable features of larger buildings constructed in the early twentieth century were the ornamental design elements that often gave buildings their personalities. The material of choice for these elements was terra cotta clay, primarily because it was relatively inexpensive, lightweight and could be easily molded or sculpted. These eye-catching details often elevated the impact of a building far beyond what it might otherwise have been.

One of Georgia’s most successful terra cotta producers was the Atlanta Terra Cotta Company located in East Point and owned by the son of Prussian immigrants, Victor Kriegshaber. Active in the community, Kriegshaber was one of the founders of the Standard Club, a charter member of the Rotary Club and a former President of the Chamber of Commerce. In 1914, Kriegshaber was part of a committee that pushed forward the Lakewood fair grounds.

It is possible, if you live in or have visited Atlanta, you have been to Victor Kriegshaber’s house. It was located at 292 Moreland Avenue just south of the Little Five Points area and it survives today as an excellent example of one of the many Victorian houses that used to line Atlanta’s major streets. Victor Kriegshaber’s former house is the location of the Wrecking Bar Brewpub.

As for Kriegshaber’s Atlanta Terra Cotta Company, it was responsible for many of the ornamental elements that adorned Atlanta structures. One of the best known of these structures was the Eisemann Building, a haberdashery and clothing store located at #47 Whitehall Street. As with many of Atlanta’s early 20th century buildings, the Eisemann found itself in the way of planned construction and, in 1975, it was demolished. That would have been the end of the Eisemann were it not for the inventive thinking of a group of Atlanta architects who inspired this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

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Lance Russell

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to...

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  1. Maria & Team …..
    I enjoy receiving the SaportaReport in my inbox.  You offer a wide latitude of newsworthy topics and insight.  I am a big fan of your Stories of Atlanta segments.  I love learning new aspects and references to Atlanta’s past.  I utilize LinkedIn on a daily basis with a large and broad network and share some of your featured columns with my network and am now sharing it with all the pertinent groups I belong too as well.  Keep up your great publication.  It is nice to read and enjoy something newsworthy that wasn’t just pulled off the some wire service or feed.  Have a great day……. Jeff Tucker, CEO | Business Environments

  2. @Jeff Tucker Jeff, you made my day. I too love Stories of Atlanta and Jamil’s Georgia and all our featured writers because they do offer a slice of our city and state that you can’t get in other places. Thank you for appreciating us. And we love followers like you – people who share our posts and let others know about the site. Thank you. Maria

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