The iconic LGBTQ bar Atlanta Eagle on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown will be designated a historic landmark by the city.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Dec. 18 that the Department of City Planning’s Historic Preservation Studio and the Urban Design Commission have begun the process of designating the building at 306 Ponce de Leon as a landmark building/site.
The Eagle, as it is commonly known, shuttered in November after being in operation for three decades, but owner Richard Ramsey said he planned to resurrect the storied club in in 2021.
“Businesses are feeling the devastating effects of COVID-19 this year, including LGBTQ-owned small businesses,” Bottoms said in a statement. “This has led to LGBTQ-owned businesses around the country closing their doors. The Atlanta Eagle has a rich history and is a beloved place for so many people in Atlanta and across the world.”
By applying landmark building/site designation, the property cannot be demolished or have changes made to the exterior without written approval from the Urban Design Commission. This designation will ensure the iconic Midtown bar remains a cultural and historic LGBTQ fixture in Atlanta, Bottoms said.
In 2009, the Atlanta Police Department infamously illegally raided The Eagle looking for illicit sex and drugs, which wound up with officers being fired, a lawsuit, and public apology from the city. APD has since created an LGBTQ community liaisons, updated their trainings and standard operating procedures with LGBTQ constituents.
“Many have called the Atlanta Eagle home over the last three decades,” said Atlanta Eagle owner Richard Ramey said in a statment. “I am grateful to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the City of Atlanta for ensuring that many more can call it home in the years to come.”