The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation has released its 2012 list of Places in Peril around the state, including Atlanta’s historic railroad buildings

The development of the railroad was a leading force in Atlanta’s growth and prosperity in the 19th and early 20th century. With the demolition of Atlanta’s Union and Terminal Stations, Georgia’s capital lost much of its railroad legacy. Many railroad structures in Atlanta are vacant and have no current plans for reuse. Among the remnants of Atlanta’s railroad legacy are Peachtree Station on Peachtree Street and the Norfolk Southern complex on Spring Street.  Peachtree Station, now known as Brookwood Station, was designed by Neel Reid and built in 1917. It is leased to AMTRAK. The Norfolk Southern complex includes two 1912 buildings as well as the largest vacant swath of undeveloped land in Atlanta, known as “the gulch.” Neglect and abandonment threatens many of these resources. AMTRAK is planning to move out of Peachtree Station.

Other sites on the list include: Rutherford Hall on the University of Georgia campus in Athens; Orange Hall in St. Marys; W.W. Law House in Savannah;  Historic Liberty Street in Milledgeville; Randolph County Courthouse in Cuthbert; Mt. Zion Church in Sparta; Crown Mill Store in Dalton; Secondary Industrial High School in Columbus; and, Chattahoochee Park Pavilion in Gainesville.

“This is the Trust’s seventh annual Places in Peril list,” said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of the Trust. “We hope the list will continue to bring preservation action to Georgia’s imperiled historic resources by highlighting ten representative sites,” McDonald said.

Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. Through Places in Peril, the Trust will encourage owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships in order to reclaim, restore and revitalize historic properties that are in peril.

Sites that have been placed on previous years’ lists have included:  the Cowen House in Acworth, which was sold and rehabilitated through The Georgia Trust’s Revolving Fund program; the Wren’s Nest, home of folklore writer Joel Chandler House in Atlanta, which has undergone extensive restoration since its 2007 listing; Bibb Mill in Columbus, which was destroyed by fire just weeks after it was placed on the list; and, Old Hawkinsville High School in Pulaski County, which won a Preservation Award from the Trust in 2011. Updates on these sites and others can be found at www.georgiatrust.org.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.