Standing among the headstones, obelisks and crypts, the Women’s Comfort Station originally served as one of two free-standing restrooms at Oakland Cemetery. Constructed in 1908 in the Italianate storefront style, the comfort stations were the first freestanding rest facilities in the City of Atlanta. Abandoned in the 1970s, the Women’s Comfort Station was used for decades as a storage shed. The rehabilitation process was a challenge due to the lack of photographic resources of the building. However, the preservation team was able to repair the historic blond brick masonry, complete reconstruction of the stone parapet roof, and salvage the building’s original pressed metal shingles. Inside the building, the decorative hexagonal mosaic was repaired using custom replicated tiles to fill in where needed. A paint analysis was also conducted and the building was returned to its original color scheme. All rehabilitation decisions and efforts were conducted with care and guidance, adhering to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Located at the intersection of the Jewish Grounds, the Confederate section and the African American Grounds, the Women’s Comfort Station now serves as an exhibit space providing opportunities to expand the remarkable narratives of Atlanta’s history.
Excellence in Rehabilitation Awards recognize projects that make compatible use of a building through repair, alterations or additions while preserving features of the property that convey its historic value.