Atlanta has a dicey history when it comes to preserving its historic buildings, but one in Midtown has been granted landmark status as new construction pops up all around it.
Spring Hill Mortuary, which has sat at the corner of Spring and 10th streets since 1928, has been given historical landmark status by the City of Atlanta, according to a report from Midtown Alliance. The building is the operational home of H.M. Patterson & Son funeral services. Thanks to a recent push from the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, the Tudor manor-style building designed by noted architect Philip Shutze and some of the adjacent gardens gained landmark status in August.
“Old and historic buildings in Atlanta are critically important to the vibrancy and distinctiveness of our public realm,” said planning commissioner Tim Keane. “Saving these buildings makes for more interesting places and ultimately a more successful city.”
The recent landmark designation offers the Spring Hill Mortuary the highest level of protection against future development, making it the 16th historically designated site in Midtown Atlanta. The agreement with the property owner includes protection for the main building, the front lawn, as well as the north garden. The historical designation will ensure that the front of the building and garden as seen from Spring Street will not be obstructed. However, the interior of the building is specifically excluded from historical designation.
Among the notable clientele include “Gone with the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell, prominent businessman Ivan Allen Sr., educator and Berry College founder Martha Berry, and former Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield. The firm’s status and reputation were such that when Franklin Roosevelt died in 1945, Fred Patterson was among the morticians sent to Warm Springs, Georgia, to prepare the president’s body.