Historic Auburn Avenue building listed as in peril

Part of a special series on Atlanta’s most endangered places of historic significance
Georgia Trust has placed this historic building in downtown Atlanta as in peril.
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 3:47 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2022 at 8:58 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation has named one of Auburn Avenue’s most historic buildings as in peril.

A building that was once home to several prominent Black-owned businesses in the 20th century, 229 Auburn Avenue was damaged in March 2008 by a tornado. The storm damaged several other buildings in the area, including the Herndon Building adjacent to 229 Auburn.

The former Atlanta Life Insurance Branch Office still stands, but it has been vacant for years and was identified by a National Park Service study as the most imperiled building in the Sweet Auburn District.

Sweet Auburn, a National Landmark District, is an historic downtown neighborhood that was one of the largest concentrations of African American businesses in the country during the 20th century.

Recent redevelopment activity has brought important focus to the site. Local and state advocates have worked to secure a commitment to preserve the structure. While owners and developers are in the planning process, the rehabilitation and sensible reuse of 229 Auburn is vital to the long-term preservation of this district to maintain its national significance.

“This is the 18th annual Places in Peril list,” said Mark McDonald, president and CEO of the Trust. “We hope the list will continue to bring preservation solutions to Georgia’s imperiled historic resources.”

The list, according to the trust, is designed to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.