The historic Fountain Hall on the Atlanta University Center campus made the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2020 “Places in Peril” list.
It was one of 10 sites that the Georgia Trust is highlighting as places in Georgia most worthy in being preserved and those that are most threatened to being demolished.
The other building in metro Atlanta that made the 2020 list is Cary Reynolds Elementary School in Doraville. The school, originally called Sequoyah Elementary School, was designed by renowned Atlanta architect John Portman, who designed and developed the building in 1961.
“This is the Trust’s fifteenth annual ‘Places in Peril’ list,” said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of the Georgia Trust. “We hope the list will continue to bring preservation solutions to Georgia’s imperiled historic resources by highlighting 10 representative sites.”
The Georgia Trust considers that both Fountain Hall and the Cary Reynolds Elementary School to be vulnerable structures.
Fountain Hall, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1882. It was originally called Stone Hall. It was the most prominent building on the original campus of Atlanta University, founded in 1865 to educate recently-freed African Americans.
The property was transferred to Morris Brown College in the early 1930s, and it was renamed Fountain Hall after former college president Bishop William A. Fountain.
The building has been boarded up and unused since 2003, and the Georgia Trust put it on the list because it has fallen victim to vandalism and demolition by neglect.
“Left unattended, the building could face a similar fate to its historic neighbors, Gaines Hall and Furber Cottage, both severely damaged by fire in recent years,” the Georgia Trust wrote in the description. “And yet, many alumni, preservationists and individuals are committed to preserving this historic building. With recent momentum and attention, the time for action is now.”
The Cary Reynolds Elementary School, which opened in 1961, features several motifs that followed Portman throughout his career, including a central green space. The building is in dire need of new investment to cover deferred maintenance and improve its performance for students and faculty.
“Advocates fear that the school, without the promised interventions, will be abandoned and demolished, despite its historic significance,” the Georgia Trust stated in a release. “A recently formed community support team hopes to stave off such an outcome, seeking ways to repair and rehabilitate the building and grounds to ensure its continued use.”
The Georgia Trust is announcing its ‘Places in Peril’ list on Wednesday morning, and it will hold a reception at 6:30 p.m. at the Georgia Trust’s Rhodes Hall to present the 2020 list.
In addition to providing greater awareness to these historic gems, the Georgia Trust encourages owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships to revitalize the historic properties that are in peril.