Georgia State University owns the long-empty Bell Building (opened in 1907). They have plans to demolish it and build a campus green space in its place, as noted in this Saporta Report piece. We think they should preserve it instead.
Old structures like this add authenticity to city streets; studies even show that they make streets more inviting to pedestrians. With building’s face is on Auburn Avenue alongside the streetcar route, preservation and reuse makes good sense. This is a perfect opportunity to allow the streetcar to enable investment in blighted buildings.
This is not about saving historic architecture — this is a very humble building. Our concern here is in losing a key part of the urban fabric in Downtown Atlanta, where too many structures from our history have been lost. Sometimes preservation isn’t as much about a single building as it is about a place.