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Saved By The Bell Building

September 3, 2015

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I love a good historical relic, but having a purpose for it is even better.

So, I’m not too happy with my Alma matter Georgia State University. It isn’t the school I remember going to, and it certainly isn’t heading in the direction of a truly “urban campus” like I had originally imagined before attending. Case in point: Georgia State has slated to demolish the Bell Building at the corner of Auburn and Equitable Place for construction of…….a parking lot. (Thunderclap)

If this isn’t one of the most asinine uses for a school with over 12 parking decks near the center of EVERY piece of transit in this region??!!! Either the transportation team is absolutely blind to these mass transit uses, or the student and faculty at this supposedly fine institution is just too good to ride the bus home. MARTA literally began HERE. In the last two weeks, Downtown Atlanta looked as red as Cumberland will look in 2017 mainly because Georgia State still perpetuates the commuter school mentality that driving is the best way to get Downtown. Also, they subsidize heavily on parking just as much as they do transit. So why doesn’t the latter win?

Now, on to the Bell Building itself.  If you haven’t heard, there is a campaign going on to save it. The link to sign it is below. I will admit that while being one of the first to sign it, I was also one of the first to question it. We’ve been down this road with the Trio Laundry building and it is still vacated to this day. I hope the same lax attitude doesn’t follow with those wanting to save the Bell Building, as I’ve only seen a rendering but not a single specific suggestion on what to put here. This is where I hope the historic preservationists (wherever you are) don’t resort to crickets when asked to provide an EXACT plan for the building given Georgia State wishes to hear you out.

Both Georgia State and the Save the Bell campaign need to consider the transit benefit of this building. Its location has prime connections to MARTA, Streetcar, GRTA, CCT, GCT, what have you. If both parties can look at how these modes can help reduce the vehicular traffic in Downtown as a whole, they can work towards a better purpose of utilizing more sustainable travel modes and encouraging historic preservation and adaptive reuse in Atlanta. If not, both will be still be fighting for something they can never obtain.

If you asked me, I would love a multi-story Target Express with condos above. See? That wasn’t so bad.

http://www.savethebell.org <—-sign the petition!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. atlurbanist permalink
    September 4, 2015 6:39 am

    Interesting & appreciated criticism. I’ll mull this over. The great thing about this building is that zoning allows most anything to go here. It’s something that’s worth highlighting for sure.

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