The Chattahoochee Brick Company site. (Courtesy City of Atlanta)

Legislation introduced by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to preserve and protect the former site of the Chattahoochee Brick Company will be on the Atlanta City Council’s Dec. 6 agenda.

Through a partnership with The Conservation Fund, the property acquisition will restore greenspace and memorialize the historical significance of the site. The property was recently added to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Places in Peril” list.

The Chattahoochee Brick Company, owned by former Atlanta Mayor James English, supplied material for the construction of houses and buildings in Atlanta after the Civil War. The factory relied on forced convict labor – mostly African American men who endured inhumane working conditions that often turned deadly.  

“Our Administration has worked closely with The Conservation Fund and property owner, Lincoln Terminal Company, over the last several months to acquire the former site of the Chattahoochee Brick Company,” Bottoms said in a statement. “It is our responsibility to protect the sanctity of this property and honor the thousands of victims who suffered and lost their lives on this land. Thank you to Councilmember Andre Dickens, The Conservation Fund, and the community at large, for efforts to acknowledge this property’s troubled past. We look forward to a brighter future on this solemn land.”

The property agreement will add 75 acres to the over 240 acres of greenspace protected with the help of the The Conservation Fund during the Bottoms Administration.

The City of Atlanta and The Conservation Fund have partnered in other property acquisitions before, notably the Lake Charlotte Nature Preserve purchase in 2019. With the continued partnership, the Fund will manage activities to preserve the Chattahoochee Brick Company property as parkland, greenspace, recreation and watershed land in the city. 

The legislation is expected to be adopted by the Atlanta City Council at its Dec. 6 after the Community Development and Human Services Committed voted today to advance the legislation.

If approved by the city council, the city plans to work with District 9 neighborhoods, advocates, and the entire Atlanta community to finalize a plan for the Chattahoochee Brick Company property. 

The property was originally destined to become a fuel terminal for Norfolk Southern, which outraged the community.

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.