Monthly Archives: July 2012

120 West Hill Street

Thrive Homes divided the lot at 120 West Hill Street and built a pair of historically inspired homes that are juxtaposed against modest postwar ranches.

120 West Hill Street. May 14, 2012, prior to construction.

Former 120 West Hill Street (118 & 122 West Hill Street). July 28, 2012.

Former 120 West Hill Street (118 & 122 West Hill Street). July 28, 2012.

 

 

918 Third Avenue

918 Third Ave. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

918 Third Ave. July 5, 2012.

918 Third Ave. July 19, 2012.

918 Third Ave. August 7, 2012.

 

124 Park Place (updated)

124 Park Place. Credit: Google Maps.

124 Park Place. July 19, 2012.

I typically try to show the properties posted at this site using photos from the 2009 Citywide historic resources survey. Unfortunately, despite Decatur Historic Preservation Planner Regina Brewer’s assertions that the 2009 survey was complete and met all of the city’s requirements, this property and its neighbors in the heart of the Town of Oakhurst‘s former core appear to have been omitted from the survey. The City of Decatur paid a consultant $35,000 to conduct the survey.

Proposed Oakurst Historic District map from the 2009 citywide historic resources survey. The arrow points to where the house at 124 Park Place stood.

Brewer wrote to me in February 2012 to complain that I had described the 2009 survey as incomplete:

From: Regina Brewer
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11:43 AM
To: David Rotenstein
Cc: Lyn Menne; Amanda Thompson;

Subject: RE: Decatur teardown diary

You have stated that the work is incomplete, there is a difference.  Further, every survey has some mistakes especially when it is a windshield survey.  I believe HPD tried to make this point to you in your meeting with them regarding Decatur’s preservation practices.  I imagine even your work has some mistakes as no one is perfect.

I would again respectfully request that you change how you phrase your comments and consider what your goal is in making these comments.

Regina Brewer

Update (July 24, 2012): Silly me. Why would I think this block would be included in any proposed Oakhurst Historic District. According to Brewer, it’s in the so-called “West Decatur Survey Area“:

124 Park Place. Credit: 2009 Citywide historic resources survey.

Brewer’s correction does not change the basic fact that yet another historic house in Oakhurst has gone to a landfill. And, it begs the question why the block was not included in the proposed Oakhurst Historic District. As one reader noted in an earlier version of this post, a Decatur attorney who lives in the block was one of the leaders opposing the creation in 2007 of an Oakhurst Historic District. Does omission of this block from the area included in Oakhurst have anything to do with that? And if so, do all Decatur residents get the right to gerrymander historic district boundaries because they live within proposed boundaries?

136 Madison Avenue

Many homeowners and communities value the history embedded in early twentieth century kit homes. Sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co., Aladdin, and other national firms, these homes were well-designed. And, if built according to the manufacturer’s instructions, remarkably durable.

136 Madison Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

Kit homes are historic and that historicity is recognized in books, academic articles, and by historic preservation designations. Decatur builder Arlene Dean, though, does not appear to be a historic kit home fan. In 2011 she described this property as an “ugly duckling” in her request for a zoning variance to increase the FAR for the lot. A single picture from the 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey does not provide sufficient information to determine if 136 Madison Avenue originated in a Sears, Roebuck and Company kit or from a Sears competitor, like Aladdin.

October 2011 Decatur Zoning Board of Appeals application narrative from builder Arlene Dean describing the existing property.

136 Madison Avenue after alterations completed. June 2012.

511 Third Avenue

511 Third Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

511 Third Avenue. July 15, 2012.

511 Third Avenue. August 5, 2012.

511 Third Avenue. August 12, 2012.

511 Third Avenue. August 23, 2012.

 

511 Third Avenue. September 8, 2012.

324 Spring Street

This property was a vacant lot when we made an offer to buy the house at 316 Spring Street in June 2011. A house contemporaneous to the one we bought had been torn down after the 2009 citywide historic resources survey had been completed.

324 Spring Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

By the time we moved into 316 Spring Street the first week in September 2011, this new home was nearing completion:

324 Spring Street. July 29, 2011.

324 Spring Street. July 2012.

We lived at 316 Spring Street for 10 months and seven days. We moved because we didn’t want to continue as participant observers in a community undergoing rapid gentrification through teardowns and mansionization.

The view from our kitchen window at 316 Spring Street. December, 2011.

537 McKoy Street

537 McKoy Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

537 McKoy Street being prepared for teardown by builder Arlene Dean. July 2012.

537 McKoy Street. August 5, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. August 23, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. August 26, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. August 30, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. September 8, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. January 3, 2013.

537 McKoy Street. January 3, 2013.

537 McKoy Street. Rendering of proposed new home. Credit: Arlene Dean Quality Homes.

537 McKoy Street. Rendering of proposed new home. Credit: Arlene Dean Quality Homes.

524 Oakview Road

Infill.

524 Oakview Road under construction. July 2012.

524 Oakview Road under construction. July 2012.

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 1, 2014.

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 1, 2014.

1210 Oakview Road (updated)

Oakhurst teardown and gentrification apologist @Oakhurstgossip recently tweeted that work beginning on an early 20th century cottage will result in “a great renovation/preservation.”

Sadly, the project will be neither. Despite the builder’s assertion that the modest house was a “farmhouse,” it actually was a New South Cottage built along the Atlanta Consolidated Streetcar Company trolley line linking Decatur with Atlanta. The line was constructed in a right-of-way its owners had hoped would become their version of the more prominent Ponce de Leon corridor, complete with parklands and stylish suburban homes. Like 1210 Oakview Road.

1210 Oakview Road. May, 2012.

The builder proposes to construct a rear addition and add space to the existing block by piercing the classic cottage hipped roof with massive shed dormers on the front and west side facades.

1210 Oakview Road architect’s rendering. Credit: http://1210oakviewroad.com/

1210 Oakview Road. Rear of house removed, July 2, 2012.

1210 Oakview Road. chimneys removed, July 2, 2012.

Um, @OakhurstGossip, what was that you tweeted about the shed dormer?

1210 Oakview Road. shed dormer construction begins, July 2, 2012.

1210 Oakview Road. Gutted, July 7, 2012.

1210 Oakview Road. July 15, 2012. I guess the historically authentic porch didn’t fit what likely will be the transformation of this former New South Cottage into a faux Craftsman. And, contrary to tweeter @OakhurstGossip’s now-locked tweet, the builder is punching through the roof and adding a shed dormer to the principal facade.

1210 Oakview Road. July 22, 2012.

1210 Oakview Road, “rehab” completed and first open house announced. September 8, 2012. Voila, it’s no longer historic!

 

@Oakhurstgossip, call it a renovation or something else but don’t call this project “historic preservation” because it isn’t. This project embodies the “Ruined Decatur” principle.

611 McKoy Street

611 McKoy Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

Screen capture, 611 McKoy Street. Credit: Stoney River Homes. <http://www.stoneyriverhomes.com/index.php?page=oakhurst>

611 McKoy Street. July, 2012.

829 Third Avenue

829 Third Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

829 Third Avenue prior to teardown. June 30, 2012.

829 Third Ave. August 5, 2012.

829 Third Ave. October 17, 2012.

 

829 Third Avenue. Announcement for new home at this site on builder’s brochure for another teardown site.