The Georgia Trust

2010 PLACES IN PERIL: HERNDON PLAZA

The Story: For more than 50 years, Herndon Plaza was the headquarters of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, which was founded by Alonzo Herndon, a former slave and Atlanta’s first African-American millionaire. The plaza consists of two adjoining buildings. The main building was built as a residence in 1892. In 1918, Atlanta Life moved into the building to set up their headquarters. It was renovated in 1927 with a Neoclassical facade. In 1936 a second annex building was constructed, matching the Neoclassical style of the original building. Atlanta Life built a new building in 1980 and moved out of the Plaza. It stood vacant for many years, but in 1997 Atlanta Life sold the building to the Historic District Development Corporation (HDDC).

The Threat: The buildings have been vandalized over the years and suffer from a lack of maintenance. Custom wood awnings, door frames, marble floors, and hallways are in danger of disrepair. The HDDC is in the process of hiring an architect and contractor for the project and is applying for Historical Preservation Certification to receive federal tax credits.

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