TOP 10 HISTORIC PRESERVATION WINS + A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
10 Preservation Wins & Losses in 2014
National Trust for Historic Preservation
The Atlanta Daily World building, located in the Sweet Auburn Historic District was the former home of one of the first African-American-owned newspapers, the Atlanta Daily World. The publication is the oldest black newspaper in Atlanta, and continues to operate today, although it relocated in 2008 following tornado damage. The building was recently sold to a developer who plans to restore and convert it into a mixed-use retail and housing space.
The restoration of this building is great news for the Sweet Auburn District in which it resides. While it will not house the Atlanta Daily World offices, the developer plans to keep historic plaques in the new space as an indication of the newspaper’s impact on the Sweet Auburn Historic District, and greater Atlanta community.
Story by H.M. CAULEY
Photos by JENNI GIRTMAN
Some people might see the brick building at 145 Auburn Ave. as an empty, worn-out shell that does little to enhance the beauty of the block. Gene Kansas looked at that same
structure and saw past the rotted wood, caved-in ceiling and mismatched windows. Instead, the local real estate developer envisioned a chance to restore a piece of Atlanta’s history not far from the Auburn Avenue Research Library and Georgia State’s welcome center, Centennial Hall. . . . That dedication to preservation led to a partnership between Kansas’ company and the Midtown architectural firm of Gamble and Gamble to complete the Daily World renovation. Co-founder Lee Ann Gamble, who met Kansas five years ago when they were working out at the gym, found that his enthusiasm for the past matched her
own. “We had an instant connection,” Gamble says. “He’s such an easy person
to talk to and very engaging. His range of interests — real estate, preservation and history — converged in this project. And I think that’s unusual for a developer. Most are interested in developing the community and making money. Gene has those interests as well, but he also has an underlying motivation to want to see long-term change for the good.”