Yeah -- more Atlanta buildings. I'll do something else soon, but this one has been bubbling on the backburner for a while.
Most of the year, Atlanta is pretty verdant -- a thick cover of foliage lies over the city, and it hides a lot. During the few months that the greenery's gone, you see new things.
For years, I only knew "The Mansion" by the sign above, at Peachtree and North. I vaguely knew there was something there, up the hill behind the sign, but whatever was there was hidden away.
Early in January, I drove by, and for the first time ever, got some glimpse of what was there.
The Mansion's "official" name is the Edward C. Peters House, a/k/a Ivy Hall. It dates back to 1883 -- Peters was an Atlanta city councilman. Between that and its Mansion era, I'm not sure what was there, and I'm not sure when the Mansion restaurant opened (though a friend says that it was the place to go for bridal showers and proms in the '70s and '80s). It closed in 2000, not long after I arrived in the city, and has been vacant since.
Even in a state of decline, it's an impressive building. Same friend as above describes the restaurant thusly: "tourist trap, mediocre food, amazing building." It's across the street from the former Abbey restaurant (and apparently had the same owner), about which the same could be said (that, I can vouch for firsthand).
I couldn't get too close to the building due to fences -- but for once, the barricades aren't just a matter of liability. They're actually renovating the building, and it's expected to reopen as an arts center in 2008.
In Atlanta, where a lot of great buildings sit unused, that's a nice change. The Abbey, likewise, as already been reborn as a church (after, I guess, a brief period when its future was in doubt). Two classic old buildings, not being torn down, being rejuvenated. And neither of them are becoming lofts!