November 15, 2021

The Bell to be renovated as GSU’s new Student Success Center!

A new GSU article has info on the renovation of the Bell, along with a pretty adorable illustration! (artist: John Dykes) As announced earlier this year, the Bell will not be torn down — it will instead be renovated and become the school’s new Student Success Center.

From the article: “Thanks in part to a transformational gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation of $15 million — one of the largest in Georgia State history — the building will gain new life through a $30 million renovation project. Expected to be complete in early to mid-2024, the Student Success Center will house a number of student-facing services.”

There’s no mention of the fact that $3.5 million from a previous Woodruff grant was earmarked for the demolition of the Bell in 2015, and that GSU and Woodruff both got called out on it by local preservation fans who questioned why there wasn’t a grant to renovate it instead.

But we’re here to tell that story ourselves, and it’s *important* for Atlanta to remember: advocacy has value!

And let’s also remember that our largest institutions sometimes need to be challenged by advocates in order to make the right decisions.

May 10, 2021

Georgia State University is planning a $30 million renovation of the Bell buildings on Auburn Avenue in downtown Atlanta, which were slated for demolition a few years ago. They would have been replaced with a parking lot.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to review plans to renovate the “Bell Buildings” into a new headquarters for the National Institute for Student Success at its May 11 meeting.

Plans call for the buildings to be significantly renovated for adaptive reuse.

Thanks to all who helped with this effort!!

Georgia State University owns the long-empty Bell Building and, in 2015, planned to demolish it. We believed they should preserve it instead.

Take a look at the resolution on the Bell Building that was introduced to Atlanta City Council on 9/8/2015, which we helped draft.

Bell Building rendering

A rendering of what the Bell Building could look like after adaptive reuse!

The Bell Building in the news