Monthly Archives: August 2012

522 East Lake Drive

522 East Lake Drive. Credit: 2009 Decatur Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

522 East Lake Drive. Demolition, August 30, 2012.

This house was one of the Newbold Development Company’s homes built in the Edgemoor subdivision in 1940. The company was nationally recognized for its high-quality small houses. The historically authentic 1,096-square-foot 1940 home will be replaced by a 2,800-square-foot historically inspired McMansion:

522 East Lake Drive. Credit: Zillow.com

522 East Lake Drive. January 11, 2013.

522 East Lake Drive. January 11, 2013.

522 East Lake Drive. January 11, 2013.

522 East Lake Drive. January 11, 2013.

 

523 McKoy Street

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

523 McKoy Street. Heavy equipment in waiting. August 26, 2012.

523 McKoy Street. Demolition, August 30, 2012.

523 McKoy Street. January 3, 2013.

523 McKoy Street. January 3, 2013.

 

Fifth Avenue Elementary School

Torn down in 2010; completed and opened August 2011.

Credit: City of Decatur 2009 Historic Resources Survey.

Completed 4/5 Academy, 2011.

Read more about the school.

An example of the visual and identity-related incongruity that result when a historic school is replaced with a new building that does not complement its surroundings can be seen in the new 4/5 Academy in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur. — Amber Rhea, Educating DeKalb: Midcentury Elementary Schools in DeKalb County, p.32.

Decatur’s official position on Oakhurst preservation

Preservation, historic and more.

Three weeks after I received this letter I met Menne for a chat at a Decatur coffee shop. We discussed historic preservation, the environment, and gentrification. When I raised some of the interviews I had done with elderly African American homeowners in Oakhurst being preyed upon by builders, she offered no solutions to preserving small homes (not historic preservation; housing preservation) and affordable housing in general. And then she said, “They’re just going to die.” After that happens, there’s nothing the City can do about their properties. An assistant city manager said that. I asked her to do a more formal, recorded interview and I received no response. I did, however, get this email from her:

I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on the lack of follow-up. She did write that she’s a “ponderer” and that she requires time to contemplate issues. Since our meeting in April, Oakhurst houses have continued going into landfills weekly and elderly residents continue to be hounded by opportunistic builders.

Update (August 9, 2012): After this post went live I read the August 8, 2012 Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A letter to the editor from Jesse Clark, executive director of Atlanta’s Historic District Development Corporation, underscores why Decatur’s housing and preservation policies are a failure. Clark wrote,

There are very few subsidies available to nonprofit community development corporations in Atlanta to help us with our work of revitalizing and historically preserving communities, while preventing the displacement of low- to moderate-income residents. However, those that do exist have proven to work (as seen from the transformation of the eastern portion of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic District). The continued support of our mission of revitalization, historic preservation and affordable housing is a prudent and necessary public investment to ensure that our community is thriving and inclusive going forward.

331 Fourth Avenue

331 Fourth Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

331 Fourth Avenue. August 7, 2012.

331 Fourth Avenue. August 7, 2012.

331 Fourth Avenue. August 7, 2012.

331 Fourth Avenue. October 17, 2012.

 

222 West Hill Street

222 West Hill Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

222 West Hill Street. July 28, 2012.

222 West Hill Street. September 8, 2012.

 

222 West Hill Street. Proposed new construction facade. Credit: Thrives Homes <http://www.thrivehomesatlanta.com/properties/view/66&gt;.

Patti’s punt (or, Patti passes the buck)

Decatur city commissioner Patti Garrett on teardowns, taxes, and the environment, February 2012:

215 Fayetteville Road

215 Fayetteville Road. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

215 Fayetteville Road. August 5, 2012.

215 Fayetteville Road. August 12, 2012.

215 Fayetteville Road. August 12, 2012.

215 Fayetteville Road (left). August 26, 2012.

 

215 Fayetteville Road. September 8, 2012.