The elaborate redesign of Sandy Springs’ namesake spring may come as soon as January 2018 after the City Council gave its unanimous blessing Feb. 21.

The historic spring on Heritage Green, a park between Blue Stone Road and Sandy Springs Circle, is currently hidden under a metal grate and wooden pavilion. The new design, commissioned by Heritage Sandy Springs and unveiled Feb. 8, would let the spring bubble up as a small, glass-enclosed fountain beneath an abstract, mirror-roofed canopy.

A concept sketch of the new spring, showing the canopy, the glass-enclosed spring and the seating area. (Photo John Ruch)

City Councilmember John Paulson said he was originally skeptical of the redesign by architects Lane and Linda Duncan. But after a closer look, he said, he likes how the plan brings “a focus to an area of the spring that was an afterthought.”

Mayor Rusty Paul said he also approached the project with caution, because “when you start messing around with something called the sandy spring…you’re dealing with something that is the heart and soul and reason for existence for the community.”

The mayor was pleased with the result. “Start building,” he told Heritage officials after the council’s approval vote, which was required for construction on a city park.

It’s not that simple, because the design is still in the concept stage, still needing an analysis of materials and a final design. But, Heritage officials say, work could begin late this year. The estimated $350,000 cost will be entirely privately funded, they said.

Used for decades or centuries by Cherokee, Creek and other American Indian communities, the spring in the 1840s became a watering hole for religious meetings by white settlers. A small community developed into what became in 2005 the city of Sandy Springs.

The design concept by architects Lane and Linda Duncan came from a competition held by Heritage Sandy Springs, the historic and cultural organization that operates Heritage Green, the park between Blue Stone Road and Sandy Springs Circle. The design still needs work, but could be constructed by early 2018, Heritage officials said. The estimated $350,000 cost would be entirely privately funded, they said.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

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