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Atlanta City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong Calls for an Extended Moratorium on Issuing Permits that Allow for the Alteration or Demolition of Structures at the Historic Pratt Pullman Yard

Post Date:10/03/2017

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Council Communications
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Ave. S.W.
Atlanta, GA  30303 

CONTACT:
Talia K. Moffitt
Public Information Officer
tkmoffitt@atlantaga.gov
(404) 546-1835-Direct / (404) 326-6505-Cell 

 October 3, 2017

Atlanta City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong Calls for an Extended Moratorium on Issuing Permits that Allow for the Alteration or Demolition of Structures at the Historic Pratt Pullman Yard

ATLANTA – District 5 Councilmember Natalyn Archibong is requesting a 60-day extension on the interim controls which would prohibit any alteration or structure demolition at the historic Pratt-Pullman Yard as the Atlanta City Council prepares to vote on designating the area as a landmark district.

In June, the Atlanta Urban Design Commission approved a resolution nominating the century-old Pratt-Pullman Yard as a landmark district.  As a result, an interim control period was established to prevent alterations and demolitions of any onsite building without consent from the City of Atlanta’s Office of Design’s Historic Preservation staff. The interim control period is set to expire Oct. 18.

Archibong’s legislation will extend that date to Dec. 17. The bill was approved by the Atlanta City Council on Monday, Oct. 2.

“This extension is in the community’s best interest,” Archibong said. “It gives city preservationists and the new property owner additional and much-needed time to develop a preservation and redevelopment plan that will be in the best interest of the community as well as the developer.”  

The Pratt-Pullman Yard was nominated to receive designation as a landmark district due to its cultural and architectural significance in the City of Atlanta and its rail transportation history. The 25-acre site was purchased this year by Atomic Entertainment.  Construction will begin within the next 12 months, Atomic Entertainment CEO Adam Rosenfelt said in July. 

The early twentieth century industrial rail yard, located at 225 Rogers Street in Kirkwood, is associated with a broad industrial history that was the economic backbone of the neighborhood from the early 1900s through the mid-1950s.

In 1904, the site was built by the Pratt Engineering and Machine Company as a production facility for chemical refining machinery to develop sulfuric acid for use in agricultural fertilizers. The Pratt Engineering Company plant was also a large producer of carbonic gas, which was used to carbonate soda fountain soft drinks. In 1917, the property briefly served as a munitions manufacturing facility for World War I.

In 1922, Chicago-based Pullman Company purchased the property and turned it into a rail car repair station. It was during a time when the site was a major employer in Atlanta. In a segregated South, Pullman’s Atlanta shop manager began recruiting black workers from local porters and car cleaners. The company became one of the largest employers of African-Americans in the country.

Chicago-based Pullman Company purchased the Pratt Engineering property in 1926 and poured over $1million into renovating the site to convert it for use as the southeastern repair shop for the company’s popular railroad sleeper cars. The renovations included the addition of two distinctive saw-tooth-roofed buildings and construction of a railroad car transfer table that allowed Pullman workers to move train cars laterally down the production line, saving space and time on repairs and allowing 14 cars to be worked on simultaneously. The Pullman Company closed operations at the Pratt-Pullman site in 1954 following the decline in railroad travel after World War II.

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