From left: Mary Norwood, John Eaves, Peter Aman, moderator Maria Saporta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Kwanza Hall, Ceasar Mitchell and Cathy Woolard.

The Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Atlanta) hosted a forum at the Inman Park Trolley Barn on Thursday night attended by seven of the nine candidates running for mayor. The evening, moderated by journalist Maria Saporta, revolved around design, development and presentation.

The candidates in attendance included: Former Chief Operating Officer of the City of Atlanta Peter Aman; Chairman of the Fulton County Commission John H. Eaves; Atlanta City Councilmembers Kwanza Hall, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood; Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell; and the former President of Atlanta City Council Cathy Woolard. State Sen. Vincent Fort and former federal prosecutor Michael Sterling did not attend.

Saporta asked about the candidates’ favorite existing buildings, which demolished ones they wish could be brought back and what growing up in their childhood homes were like. The dilapidated Paschal’s Motor Hotel and Restaurant on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, dubbed the “breakfast table of the Civil Rights Movement,” was on the minds of the candidates for a historic building that needs rescuing soon.

All the candidates were in agreement that a comprehensive updating and following of the the city’s zoning codes, which is currently underway, was necessary for the future. The Atlanta BeltLine was also frequently mentioned, with the candidates hoping to find more funding to more quickly complete the 22-mile loop of trails and transit.

Preserving the city’s tree canopy, pushing for more transit to serve underserved areas of the city, and more density in the city’s core were also discussed as priorities for the Atlanta’s future.

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.

One reply on “Mayoral candidates discuss development, preservation at forum”

  1. It would be great to hear how the candidates are going to partner more with APS and the work with the Superintendent, who has some great ideas. She spoke at a Grady cluster meeting, and it seems like there is a lot of room for improvement in that relationship. It’s an important relationship and more should be done to ensure it is mutually beneficial.

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