The Castle, home of Atlanta’s “most interesting & creative humans,” could gain historic status

By David Pendered

The Castle mansion in Midtown has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places, according to an agenda item slated for consideration Wednesday by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.

Castle, fun day

The last event hosted at the Castle was, “sunday fun day,” on July 26. The space is to reopen in September, according to its Facebook page. Credit: facebook.com/castleatlanta

The applicant is David Crass, the state historic preservation officer and director of the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The UDC agenda provides scant information about the pending application.

The agenda item simply states: “Application for a Review and Comment (RC-15-269) on the National Register of Historic Places Nomination of 87 Fifteenth St. (The Castle) Property is zoned SPI-16 (Subarea 1) / Historic Building/Site.”

The home is located near the High Museum of Art, on a hilltop above the intersection of Peachtree Street and Fifteenth Street.

The home now is owned by MLAC Castle Atlanta Limited Liability Co., according to the Fulton County Tax Assessor. The company incorporated in Georgia in April 2013, according to the Georgia Secretary of State.

The company acquired the home for the price of $10 in June 2013 from Latham Bryan Allen, according to tax records. The deed, unavailable online, is likely to indicate the price was $10 and other considerations.

Allen purchased the property in September 2009 for $951,500, tax records show. Allen is an architect and artist based in New York.

The home has been renovated and opened as a gathering place in November 2014.

The Castle, exterior

The Castle has been nominated for nominated for the National Register of Historic Places, according to the agenda of Atlanta Urban Design Commission. Credit: facebook.com/castleatlanta

Facebook advertising for a soft opening of the Castle at that time had this to say of the space:

  • “Castle Atlanta: A premier private club and boutique hotel will be opening in 2015, in Midtown, Atlanta. But the founders would first like you to experience: HAUS (pop-up bar). Welcome to HAUS, a living room bar and music emporium that helps you celebrate the best cocktails, music and food from across world history.”

The Facebook page of the Castle describes the event space in these terms:

  • “Castle will be Atlanta’s home to the most interesting & creative humans in the city. We will provide updates on scheduling and special events.”

The Castle is closed until Labor Day, according to its Facebook page. The most recent event was July 26, when the Facebook page invited readers to, “jump on over to our shindig.” The event was described as a cookout with bloody marys and booze, porch and patio, from 1 o’clocks onwards.

The invitation did not note if the party started at 1 a.m., when nightclubs are closing, or in the afternoon. Adding to the intrigue of the place is this Facebook post on July 27, at 4 p.m., the day after the shindig:

  • “Can I pleeeease get a phone number or email address to contact someone, anyone at Castle regarding a private dinner?? I’d left a post last week with my phone number and haven’t heard from anyone.”

A note on the thread, dated July 30, stated:

  • “Yes. Me too. Do you guys want our money or not?!??!”

The house was at risk of demolition during the building boom of the 1980s. Developers envisioned a high-rise office building on the site.

Then-Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young secured the home’s legacy in the city’s preservation movement by describing it during a speech in the 1980s as a “hunk of junk.” For any number of reasons, the house was not demolished.

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

2 replies
  1. Kathy Brooke says:

    During the 70s we went into Atlanta to do just about everything. I remember parking near that house when we visited the High. I was always fascinated by it.Report

    Reply

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