Friday, May 16, 2008


Crum and Foster Building 771 Spring Street

1. The 1926 Crum and Foster Building is significant both for its Italian renaissance-inspired architecture and for its contribution to Atlanta’s stature as a regional headquarters town and corporate address of choice.

2. Development of the Crum and foster Building marks an excellent example of an Atlanta design firm partnered with a noted world-class firm. The unique partnership of Helme, Corbett & Harrison, Architects, NYC and Ivey and Crook, Architects, Atlanta. This is also part of an on-going legacy of architectural partnership between local and world-class out-of-town firms that continues today.

3. Original Blueprint midtown/Midtown Alliance survey teams in partnership with Georgia Tech College of Architecture, the Atlanta Preservation Center, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and the City of Atlanta Urban Design Commission surveyed the Buildings in Midtown. The net results of that survey in 1999 identified the Crum and Foster Building as one of 15 buildings recommended for local designation as a Landmark building.

4. Blueprint midtown survey respondents stated that retaining Midtown’s unique ‘sense of place” was among their highest priorities. Whether experienced form its Spring Street streetscape or on the entrance steps leading to the buildings monumental round arches and colonnade, the Crum and Foster Building gives on a sense of being in a particular place and time.

5. Demolition of existing resources for development of surface parking and/or banking land was a strategy that new Midtown zoning strongly aspired to avoid.

6. Not only were the architects of the Crum and Foster Building, architects Ivey and Crook, graduates of Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture, but Ivey actually helped to establish the school as a student by writing a petition to the university president to start the architecture program 100 years ago this year.

7. The Crum and Foster Building’s history and architectural significance have been documented in significant publications: Atlanta Urban Design Commission’s Atlanta Historic Resources Workbook (1981), Atlanta’s Lasting Landmarks, (1987), Lewis Edmond Crook, Jr. “A Twentieth-century Traditionalist in the Deep South” (1984) and The American Institute of Architects Guide to Atlanta (1992).

8. The Georgia Tech Master Plan indicates the site as only an area of strategic importance to the institute, but no specific development or planning guidelines are set in the plan for replacing the existing structure.

9. The Crum and Foster Building was integrated into the early strategic planning of Georgia Tech’s award winning Technology Square development. Architects, TVS & Associates incorporated references to this building and the adjacent Biltmore when making material choices and height/scale decisions.

10. Georgia Tech has outstanding urban planning and architectural programs, and its reputation suffers when the very principles those programs stand upon are set aside by expedient institutional policies.

11. To demolish a significant, structurally – sound 1926 historic building subverts its potential for reuse or redevelopment at a time when heightened environmental consciousness and sustainability issues point to reuse not demolition as the new ethos.

12. By its very presence, the Crum and Foster Building reminds us of a time in our city’s history when architectural design, human scale, and relationship to the street were important to promoting institutional excellence.


Anonymous said...

I took some pictures of the Crum & Foster Building on May 11, 2008, and publshed them here:

Leslie said...

I really hate to see that beautiful, historic building go. And it was in use until GA Tech bought it, declined to renew the leases, and let it sit vacant for a few months. Now they're trying to say it derrelict. What? Only because GA Tech made it so! The plans for the site? A parking lot!

Isn't GA Tech one of the leaders in urban planning? If they are teaching that replacing beautiful, historic buildings with urban parking lots is good urban design, well... maybe someone should look at their urban planning program.

I'm in the real estate development industry, so I understand that sometimes an unsafe or unusable building has to make way for progress, but to demolish this historic, useful structure for a parking lot? In this real estate market, there is absolutely no way to make a case that the need for redeveloping that land outweighs the historic significance of that building.