This rendering shows what the Bell could look like as an adaptive reuse project. Zoning for this Downtown district allows the building to be used for a number of purposes, including residential, office and retail. The benefits of activating this property with any of these uses would be great.
Old structures like this add authenticity to city streets; studies even show that they make streets more inviting to pedestrians. With the building’s face on Auburn Avenue alongside the streetcar route, this is a perfect opportunity to allow the streetcar to enable investment in blighted buildings. 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.
This building was engineered to be strong enough for vertical expansion, providing potential for an adaptive reuse project that would compliment other projects nearby such as the Atlanta Daily World building (once slated for demolition, now apartments and shops), the Flatiron Building (currently undergoing renovation), the Candler Building (set to become either hotel or residences), and the Olympia Building (undergoing a major restoration project, to become a Walgreens).
MAY, 2021: Student project by Asha McDonald and Kaila Andino
Two architecture majors at Georgia Tech, Asha McDonald and Kaila Andino, recently completed a project about the preservation of the Bell Building. It involved a podcast series, 3D scans of the building, drawings of the facade, and an adaptive reuse plan.
Here are a couple of great illustrations of the building. Check out the lovely design in lines of the facade!
And here’s the side view — you really get a sense of how enormous this building is from this perspective!