By Maria Saporta
This just in from architect and perservationist Laura DePree.
The Crum & Forster building in Midtown has just been granted Landmark status with Mayor Shirley Franklin’s signature. Last week, the Atlanta City Council unanimously supported giving the historic structure added protection, but it needed the mayor’s signature before it could receive that designation.
The building has been endangered for more than year because the Georgia Tech Foundation has sought a demolition permit so it can keep its redevelopment options flexible.
The community outcry, however, has helped stop those plans. Because of the public opposition to the demolition, the city has denied the demolition permit and now there’s an added Landmark status protection.
The fight isn’t over yet. The Georgia Tech Foundation is appealing the denial of the demolition permit, and it has 30 days to appeal the city’s decision on granting Landmark status.
Still, the mayor’s support is a reason to celebrate, DePree wrote in an email she sent this morning.
“This is great news,” she said. “This is the right thing to happen to such a nobel Beaux Arts building. I just wish that Georgia Tech and the Foundation would realize the opportunities they have with this architectural treasure.”
DePree’s grandfather, Lewis Crook, was one of the original designers in 1926 of the building that opened in 1928. It was co-designed by the New York architectural firm of Helmie, Corbett & Harrison and the Atlanta firm of Ivey & Crook.
“As my grandfater, Buck Crook said, ‘There are cycles in architecture, but people always return to the classics,’” DePree wrote. “This architectural gem is a keeper.”