HURRAAAAY!!! The beautiful Imperial Hotel will be preserved. I just LOVE it when creative and right minded people make good things happen. Here is an example of how to preserve part of Atlanta's history AND provide downtown/transit oriented housing for 'working class' folk who want to work and live in-town.
When I was a child Papa used to drive downtown every Sunday morning, to an ancient cigar shop on Baker St. and the ONLY place in town you could get a New York Times in the 1970s. Sometimes I'd tag along and as we passed the Imperial Hotel my eyes would linger on the beautiful brick building with Tutor arches in the front. While it was built sometime in the 20th century the renovation was really quite new, just 20 or so years before, but it looked distinguished and it felt so majestic and I would daydream about the people who lived in it and how exciting and fascinating their lives must be to live right on Peachtree St.
The beautiful building of my childhood fantasies was abandoned in the early 1980's but in 1990, and loooong before 'Occupy Wall St.', there was 'Occupy the Imperial' and thanks to the attention brought to it by homeless advocates and the precious heart of Atlanta's own Bruce Gunter, it was 'resurrected' in 1996 and used for affordable housing for over 10 years. An honorable and ambitious undertaking, but alas, this good deed was undone by the economy and the old hotel has now sat vacant for several years.
Foreclosure of the Imperial Hotel
But GOOD NEWS was just announced, now there will be new life breathed into this building and a second chance to keep affordable housing and economic diversity downtown!!!
Imperial Hotel preserved for moderate income housing
This ATL Gal is very appreciative to Columbia Residential and am pleased by a public policy that now encourages preservation over demolition (so NOT the policy just a few short years ago). Once again there will be people living fascinating Peachtree St. lives in this cool old building in the heart of my favorite city.