The Georgia Trust

2007 PLACES IN PERIL: VIRGINIA-HIGHLAND NEIGHBORHOOD

teardowns harm old neighborhoods

The Story: Developed between 1905 and 1936, Virginia-Highland incorporates an array of early 20th century architecture, including Craftsmen, English Vernacular Revival and Colonial Revival. It remains one of Atlanta's most active historic neighborhoods with vibrant historic commercial areas. The neighborhood was listed in the Register in 2005.

Threat: Development, teardowns and incompatible infill are severely impacting the character of Atlanta's historic neighborhoods. Developers are buying modest homes on sizable lots to demolish and construct larger suburban-style homes. Characteristics of scale, height, consistent setbacks, tree-lined streets and historic resources are being destroyed not just in Virginia-Highland, but in Ansley Park, Morningside/Lenox Park, Reynoldstown and other similar areas.

Solution: Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's recent moratorium on teardowns inspired Atlantans to consider the value of older neighborhoods and negative effects of teardown trends. Recent efforts by the mayor and an American Institute of Architects task force are a good start. However, additional planning and zoning changes would encourage neighborhood changes without harming character. Additional local historic districts under the Atlanta Urban Design Commission would ensure against future loss of historic resources

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