The Eagle, Kodak Building, and Ashby Street Theatre top Georgia Trust’s annual ‘Places in Peril’ list

The Kodak and Eagle buildings on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown. (Courtesy Charles Paine)

The Midtown building that house the The Atlanta Eagle nightclub, the adjacent Kodak film building, and the the old Ashby Street Theatre on the Westside top the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation‘s newly released 2021 list of 10 Places in Peril in the state.

Here’s what the Trust had to say about the Atlanta places in peril:

Atlanta Eagle and Kodak Buildings
Originally constructed as expansive private residences in 1898 and 1905 respectively, the Atlanta Eagle and Kodak Buildings reflect over a century of urban evolution and social history in the city of Atlanta. The Atlanta Eagle Building – altered for commercial use in 1949 – eventually became a place of prominence in the LGBTQ community, significant as a site for public social interaction. The Kodak Building was originally constructed as an Italian Renaissance house but underwent a commercial alteration in the 1940s with the opening of Star Photo. Currently, the structures suffer from lack of maintenance and a direct threat of demolition. The Atlanta Eagle has recently announced plans to close due to financial hardship brought on by the pandemic. Despite both buildings being contributing properties in the Midtown National Register Historic District, the properties are highly susceptible to demolition without the addition of local preservation protections.

Ashby Street Theatre (Courtesy MotorSportMedia/Halston Pitman)

Ashby Street Theatre 
The Ashby Street Theatre was one of Atlanta’s first theaters to serve the African American community. Opened in 1934, the theater provided a space for African Americans to enjoy the latest movies in their own community without having to suffer segregated entrances and seating areas during the Jim Crow era. The Ashby Street Theatre has not been occupied for many years and suffers from a lack of maintenance. Despite its continued disrepair, there is now significant development occurring around the Ashby Street Theatre, creating an opportunity for its revitalization as a community gathering spot once again.

“This is the Trust’s sixteenth annual Places in Peril list,” said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of the Trust. “We hope the list will continue to bring preservation solutions to Georgia’s imperiled historic resources by highlighting ten representative sites.”

Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.

Through Places in Peril, the Trust encourages owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships in order to reuse, reinvest and revitalize historic properties that are in peril.

Other sites on the 2021 list include: Blackshear City Jail in Blackshear (Pierce County); Cherry Grove Schoolhouse in Washington (Wilkes County); Cohutta African American Civic District in Cohutta (Whitfield County); Downtown Toomsboro in Wilkinson County; Kiah House Museum in Savannah (Chatham County); Old Monticello United Methodist Church in Monticello (Jasper County); Terrell County Courthouse in Dawson; and Vineville Avenue Corridor in Macon (Bibb County).

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