David T. Howard Middle School in Old Fourth Ward, Neighborhood Church in Candler Park, Georgia Tech’s Price Gilbert Memorial Library, and Jesse Grainger and James Newberry have received statewide preservation awards from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.

David T. Howard Middle School in Old Fourth Ward

David T. Howard Middle School

The David T. Howard Middle School in Old Fourth Ward neighborhood received the Marguerite Williams Award. The highest honor given by the Trust, this award is presented annually to the project that has had the greatest impact on preservation in the state.

The school was built on land donated by David Tobias Howard, one of the first African American millionaires. Designed by noted architect A. Ten Aeck Brown, the school was constructed in phases starting in 1923. Originally an equalization school, attendees and graduates of the school include Martin Luther King, Jr., Walt Frazier, Maynard Jackson and Olympian Mildred McDaniels.

The school was closed in 1976, but ownership was retained by Atlanta Public Schools. After years of debate about whether the school should be used or torn down, the school system made the decision to rehabilitate the structure to once again serve students, a huge accomplishment for the school and community. The historic classroom building and gymnasium were sensitively rehabilitated while new classrooms, an auditorium, cafeteria and administration suite were added in a design that is complementary but distinct from the historic architecture.

Neighborhood Church in Candler Park.

Neighborhood Church

Neighborhood Church in Candler Park received an award for Excellence in Rehabilitation, which recognizes projects that make compatible use of a building through repair, alterations or additions while preserving features of the property that convey its historic value.

Neighborhood Church is the merger of Druid Hills United Methodist and Epworth Methodist at the site of the historic Epworth Church in Candler Park. The funds from the sale of the Druid Hills church property were invested in the two extant Epworth structures, which date to the 1920s and 1950s. The transformation of the dated buildings now provides unique worship experiences, childcare, and spaces dedicated to community partnerships.

Rehabilitation focused on repair of double-hung windows and custom replacement of damaged eaves, cornices and woodwork. The colored glass windows in the mid-century sanctuary were also preserved. A new glass-enclosed connector was constructed between the structures to provide an architecturally differentiated but compatible addition.

Georgia Tech’s Price Gilbert Memorial Library

Price Gilbert Memorial Library

Georgia Tech’s Price Gilbert Memorial Library received an award for Excellence in Sustainable Rehabilitation, which recognizes excellent rehabilitation projects that also incorporate appropriate conservation and sustainable treatments to lessen a building’s environmental impact while preserving significant features that convey its historic significance.

The library, designed by Paul Malcom Heffernan and completed in 1953, represented cutting-edge thinking in both design and educational services for its time. Following its rehabilitation, the library is once again a state-of-the-art facility, serving an integral role in Georgia Tech’s core educational ecosystem.

The project preserved and clarified architectural spaces, while providing a high-performance building envelope. Mass masonry walls on the south façade were analyzed and deemed to perform well with minor rehabilitation. The non-original, expansive north-facing curtainwall required total replacement with a high-performance system sympathetic to the original design intent. Original materials on the interior were recreated wherever possible. The non-historic entry rotunda was removed so that the entirety of the south façade could be seen as originally intended. The two-story original entry was restored and given a new, complementary use for scholarly events. Efficient lighting and mechanical systems were installed to decrease energy use.

The final design ultimately transformed a well-designed but inefficient building into a technology-rich, people-centered space at the heart of campus.

James Newberry and Jesse Grainger, center, receive their awards.

James Newberry and Jesse Grainger

James Newberry and Jesse Grainger of Atlanta received the Camille W. Yow Volunteer of the Year Award. Since 1978, The Georgia Trust has recognized a volunteer of the year with the Camille W. Yow Award, named after the long-time volunteer who was the first award recipient.

Newberry has served as Rhodes Hall event staff, was a Hay House docent and an intern for the Georgia Trust while receiving his master’s degree in historic preservation from Georgia State University. He is currently the special project curator for the Kennesaw State University Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books.

Grainger studied film and video production at Georgia State and is currently a producer and editor of his own company, Jesse Loves Atlanta. The pair recently combined their strengths of oral history and video production to collaborate on a video tour of Rhodes Hall and are working with Trust staff on a new production highlighting the Trust’s preservation programs.

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.