Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Crum and Forster Building Needs Your Help!

The next step in designating the Crum and Forster as a Landmark Building will take place on Thursday, June 4, 2009, at 6 p.m. when the designation will be heard by the City of Atlanta Zoning Review Board.

Please show your support for the Atlanta Preservation Center's continuing efforts to preserve the Crum and Forster by:
  • Attending the meeting on Thursday, June 4, 2009, at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall
  • Writing a letter to the Zoning Review Board in support of the Landmark designation for the Crum and Forster building
Your letter to the Zoning Review Board should:

* Be faxed or emailed to the Atlanta Preservation Center no later than June 1, 2009. We will ensure that your letter is presented to the Zoning Review Board on June 4.

APC fax: 404-688-3357
APC email:

* Use standard business letter formatting with this inside address:

City of Atlanta Zoning Review Board
Attn: Ms. Charletta Wilson Jacks
Bureau of Planning
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 3350
Atlanta, GA 30303

* Include your statement of:
  • the importance and value of the building to both Atlanta and the Midtown neighborhood;
  • the importance of both the local architectural firm (and the NY architectural firm that designed the building) to Atlanta and the nation
  • the value of the building in contrast to recent re-development efforts in Midtown
Background information on the Crum and Forster building: Designed in 1926 and constructed1927-28, the Crum and Forster building is the earliest building of its kind to be constructed in the Midtown area of Spring Street. It housed the first regional office of a national insurance company to construct its own building in Atlanta. Prior to the construction of the
Crum and Forster building, this section of Spring Street was residential or undeveloped.

The design of the building is a collaborative work between the New York architectural firm of Helmle, Corbett & Harrison and the Atlanta architectural firm of Ivey & Crook. The principals of Helmle, Corbett & Harrison produced designs which were major contributions to two phases of 20th century American architecture: first, the period of the American renaissance working in Beaux Arts historicist styles and second, in the development of Modernism. Over a four decade long practice, Ivey and Crook produced some of Atlanta's most distinguished residential and commercial architecture.

Thank you for your continuing support of the Atlanta Preservation Center's efforts to save the Crum and Forster building.

If you have questions, please call me (404-688-3353 x13) or Boyd Coons (404-688-3353 x12) or email

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Georgia's Places in Peril 2009

The Crum & Forster is among a list of ten Places in Peril across the state of Georgia identified by The Georgia Trust.

In recognition of these historically significant buildings, a reception will be held on October 28, 2008, 6-8 p.m. at Rhodes Hall in Atlanta. Please attend and find out how you can help save Georgia's most imperiled places.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

At the UDC again today!

The Crum and Forster Building comes before the Urban Design Commission (UDC) again this Wednesday, September 24th, 4pm, City Hall.

This issue was previously presented to the UDC on August 27th for nomination for Landmark Building status and was unanimously approved. However, due to a technicality, this presentation must be repeated this Wednesday, Sept. 24th. Although not critical, it would be great to have supporters in the audience.

Urban Design Commission Meeting
Wednesday, September 24th, 4 p.m.
City Hall, City Council Chambers
55 Trinity Avenue SW, Atlanta, 30303
(Plan to arrive early; Crum Forster is first on the agenda.)

During the former presentation the GT Foundation made it clear that they still seek the demolition permit for this elegant building and intend to focus on appealing the denial of the demo permit by the City of Atlanta. The upcoming meetings in November address these issues. Your support at these meetings will be critical.

November 21, Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA):
GTF will present its appeal of its denied demolition permit.

November (TBD - either Nov. 6th or 13th), Zoning Review Board (ZBA):
Crum and Forster will be presented to the Board for review of Landmark Building status.

Again, thank you for your interest and continued support!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Landmark status update

According to Jim Auchmutey's article on 8/27, Atlanta's Urban Design Commission voted unanimously to landmark the Crum & Forster building. But the Georgia Tech Foundation is appealing the earlier decision to reject their application for a demolition permit. That hearing will come before the Board of Zoning Adjustment on Nov 21.

There will be more meetings still, on two tracks it seems: 1) fighting the appeal of the denial of the demolition permit, and 2) going through the landmarking process with Zoning and the City Council.

Preservation is a lot of work!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Date of Public Hearing

Karen Huebner's letter to the GTF had the incorrect date for the public hearing. It's actually going to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 4 p.m. in City Council chambers.

Be there!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Demolition Permit Denied!!!

On Friday the City of Atlanta, in the face of strong public opinion, denied the GTF's application to demolish the Crum & Forster. Further, the city will pursue landmark status for the building and nothing is allowed to be touched on it for 180 days. A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, August 23, 2008.

Here's the letter from the Urban Design Commission, reprinted from Maria Saporta's article:

July 11, 2008

Mr. Mark W. Long, Secretary Georgia Tech Foundation Real Estate Holding Corporation 760 Spring St., NW, 4th Floor Atlanta, GA 30308-1028


Dear Sir:

This office has been informed that the Special Administrative Permit (SAP-08-24) for the property located at 771 Spring Street, NW, has been denied by the Bureau of Planning.

Due to its historic, cultural and architectural significance, and in accordance with the City of Atlanta’s Historic Preservation Ordinance (see enclosed), Section 16-20.005(b) of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Atlanta, this letter constitutes official Notice of Intent to Nominate the Crum & Forster Building and the real property located at 771 Spring Street, NW, Land Lot 80, in the 14th District (hereafter referred to collectively as the “property” and as shown on the enclosed map, which is incorporated herein by reference). This property is proposed for nomination to the zoning category of Landmark Building/Site (LBS). The property is currently zoned SPI-16 (sub area 1) The Zoning Committee may modify this nomination to another category as provided by Section 16-20.006(b).

You are hereby further advised that the Urban Design Commission of the City of Atlanta will hold a public hearing regarding this proposed nomination on Wednesday, August 23, 2008, beginning at 4 p.m. This hearing will be held in the Atlanta City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall Complex, 55 Trinity Avenue, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia. Also enclosed is a copy of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure that will be used during the hearing. The owner(s), or his or her representative(s), will have a reasonable opportunity to present testimony and other evidence concerning the historical, cultural and architectural significance of the property, or lack thereof. The public will also be allowed a reasonable opportunity to be heard, and may present testimony or other evidence regarding the same considerations.

Please be further advised that, in accordance with Section 16-20.005.C. of the Code of Ordinances, the property herein referenced is protected and controlled by these regulations to the extent provided by that category of protection to which it has been nominated. This protection begins on the above date of this Notice of Intent to Nominate and continues for a maximum of 180 days. During this interim development control period, no alterations of any kind are permitted on this property unless the required Certificates of Appropriateness for such alterations have been secured from the Urban Design Commission of the City of Atlanta.

You are invited to carefully read the enclosed Historic Preservation Ordinance. This Notice of Intent to Nominate is the first step in the process of reviewing the property for possible nomination and designation to one of several categories of historic protection. The Urban Design Commission staff is in the process of preparing a detailed report on this property, which will be available for public review approximately ten days prior to the public hearing referenced above. After the public hearing, the Urban Design Commission will decide whether or not to nominate your property for designation to a category of historic protection. If the Commission nominates the property, the Zoning Committee of the Atlanta City Council will introduce an ordinance to designate the property to the appropriate category of historic protection. That ordinance will then go through the City’s procedure for all zoning papers, which includes another public hearing before the Zoning Review Board prior to final designation action by the Atlanta City Council.

For further information or questions concerning this matter, please contact the Urban Design Commission at 404-330-6200.

Very truly yours,

Karen Huebner Executive Director

Attachments 1. Atlanta Historic Preservation Ordinance 2. Map of the Property 3. Urban Design Commission Rules of Procedure 4. Economic Incentives Summary

cc: James Shelby, Deputy Commissioner Department of Planning and Community Development & Acting Director Bureau of Code Compliance
Ibrahim Maslamani, Director Bureau of Buildings Ann Heard, Chief Zoning Enforcement

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Front Page News!

Our little building made the front page of the AJC today! Here's a link to Jim Auchmutey's story.