Resolution on Bell Building introduced to City Council

From the 09/08/2015 City Council meeting, a resolution that was sent to committee:

A RESOLUTION BY
COUNCILMEMBER KWANZA HALL

A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ATLANTA URBAN DESIGN COMMISSION TO NOMINATE THE BELL BUILDING, LOCATED AT 25-27 AUBURN AVENUE, AS A HISTORIC BUILDING AND SITE; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

WHEREAS, the Bell Building, located at 25-27 Auburn Avenue, was constructed as a telephone exchange by the Southern Bell Company in two phases; and

WHEREAS, phase 1 was a three story building completed in August of 1907 and phase 2 was also a three story structure completed in 1922; and

WHEREAS, together the buildings were called the Ivy-Walnut telephone exchange and housed operators that served City of Atlanta (“City”) resident’s increased demand for telephone service; and

WHEREAS, the Georgia State University Foundation (“Foundation”) currently owns the Bell Building, and plans to demolish the buildings and replace them with a surface parking lot; and

WHEREAS, upon learning of the proposed demolition, City residents, preservationists, and others have started a “Save the Bell” campaign, whose petition opposing the demolition has gained over 2,000 signatures; and

WHEREAS, the Atlanta and Georgia Chapters of the American Institute of Architects have jointly sent a letter to the President of Georgia State University and the Chancellor of the Georgia Board of Regents, requesting the Foundation to reconsider its plan to demolish the Bell Building; and

WHEREAS, interest has also been expressed from the private sector of partnering with the Foundation or acquiring the Bell Building for an adaptive reuse project; and

WHEREAS, Section 6-4043(e)(1) of the City’s Code of Ordinances states that the Urban Design Commission shall “make nominations to the city council for the designation of buildings, sites and districts for each category of protection which are established by chapter 20 of part 16 of the Code of Ordinances”; and

WHEREAS, the City Council hereby requests the Executive Director of the Urban Design Commission to nominate the Bell Building as a Historic Building and Site as authorized in Section 16.20.005(a)(1) of the City’s Zoning Ordinance.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA, that the Executive Director of the Urban Design Commission nominate the Bell Building, located at 25-27 Auburn Avenue, as a Historic Building and Site as authorized in Section 16.20.005(a)(1) of the City’s Zoning Ordinance.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that prior to the Urban Design Commission’s public hearing to consider the nomination for status of the Bell Building as a Historic Building and Site, that the Executive Director provides copies of the written report in the nature of findings and recommendations regarding the proposed nomination to all members of the City Council.

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