Wednesday, December 11, 2013

East Tennessee, Virginia, & Georgia Freight Depot

Architect Unknown

"The Peters Street Freight Depot was originally a 2-story structure with twin turrets in a modified Italianate Style. It was built to serve Atlanta's 'produce row," as well as other shipping needs of a growing city. Raley Brothers, Inc., Wholesale Grocers, have leased this building for the past sixty years, and have made extensive changes and repairs. 

The second story was removed in the late 1940s because the roof was badly deteriorated and the present tenant did not need the space. A new entrance was made in the side of the building because the railroad needed more space to accommodate automobile carriers. This change cut off access to the old rear entrance.

According to railroad records, the annual report for July 1, 1885 to June 30, 1886 shows an Atlanta freight house 50x400 feet contracted for; records for fiscal year ending June 30, 1887, show the new freight depot at Atlanta was completed. The depot was used by the railroad until about 1915. It was then leased for use as a pickle factory for a short time. Raley Brothers moved into the building in 1917-18, and has occupied
it continuously since that time."

What was left of the depot finally succumbed to a fire in 1992. Today the site is a dog park, and probably waiting to be redeveloped (into apartments no doubt). The blog Return to Atlanta posted about the building (and the Atlanta Historic Resources Workbook) and has a couple old birdseye view maps of the depot (check out that Mansard roof!). The rest of the blog is worth a look too, though the author doesn't appear to be actively posting anymore.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Atlanta Coca·Cola Bottling Company

George Harwell Bond, Architect

"The Coca-Cola Bottling Company moved to its present location in 1939. The plant was constructed on the site of one of the ramparts dug by General Sherman. 

A rectangular two-story structure, the building is given a vertical emphasis by its two-story entrance and by pilasters dividing the rows of factory windows. Constructed of brick and limestone, the building exhibits elements associated with the Art Deco style. The stepped-back facade features an outstanding entrance. Framing the doors are two-story ribbed shafts and a lintel with a pair of concentric squares and the name "Coca-Cola" carved on it. Above the double doors with their stylized grillwork is a bas-relief sculpture by the noted Atlanta artist Julian Harris. It features a Coca-Cola bottle superimposed on a sunburst surrounded by signs of the zodiac.

The Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company, owned for many years by the Montgomery family, was acquired by the CocaCola Company in 1979."

It appears that the building was demolished in the mid to late 1980s. The site is currently surface parking (an all-too-common end use for historic places). The current bottling facilities are located near Hartsfield-Jackson airport.

Views of the exterior of the Coca-Cola Company Bottling plant located on 864 Spring Street in AtlantaGeorgia, c. 1950. Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Burns Cottage

Thomas H. Morgan, Architect

"Burns Cottage, clubhouse for the Burns Club of Atlanta, is the only replica in the world of Robert Burns' birthplace. The Burns Club, a social, literary and memorial society, was organized in 1896. After meeting for 14 years in members' homes, they contracted with Thomas H. Morgan, club member and prominent local architect, to plan a replica of the poet's birthplace in Ayr, Scotland. Except for the additions at the rear, the Atlanta cottage is an exact duplicate of the Ayr cottage. Construction materials differ. The Ayr cottage is built of rubble stone with clay-and-grass mortar and thatched roof; the Atlanta cottage is Georgia granite with an asbestos shingle roof.

The cottage is curved just as Burns' birthplace was curved to conform with the curving road it fronted. Windows are very small because in Burns' day Scots were taxed according to number and size of windows and panes. 

The public is invited to visit. Caretakers living on the premises conduct tours."

The Burns Cottage is relatively unchanged since 1981, though it appears that it is no longer open to the public. It was listed on the National Register in 1983 and is not locally designated.

The Atlanta Historic Resources Workbook

In the late 1970s, just over a decade from the passing of the National Historic Preservation Act and just prior to the tax acts that created the historic preservation tax credit, the Atlanta Urban Design Commission  (AUDC) began a survey of Atlanta's historic resources. In 1981, with the help of a grant from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the survey was greatly expanded and culminated in the Atlanta Historic Resources Workbook. This nearly 300-page publication represents the first, and perhaps the last time, the City of Atlanta has comprehensively surveyed their domain to determine the existence and condition of its historic resources.

In many ways the Workbook was forward thinking: the inclusion of just a few buildings not quite 50 years (e.g. the Academy of Medicine building), recognition of the value of embodied energy (though that term had not yet been coined), and the suggestion that "conservation" is a more appropriate term than "preservation" to represent all that we do in the field of the historic built environment. The authors of the workbook recognized that Atlanta was lagging behind other cities in their efforts to identify and protect its historic resources. Their efforts did much to catch the city up. However, after nearly three decades, many of the historic resources identified as being important to Atlanta's legacy are gone, and of the nearly 248 sites and 27 districts identified in the Workbook, only 58 sites and 17 districts receive formal protection (and even these are sometimes lost). 

Over the next few months Rag and Bone will be revisiting these sites to see just how far we have come.