Future of historic book bindery remains uncertain as Peachtree Hills condo project advances

The future of the historic book bindery building at 2395 Peachtree Road in the Peachtree Hills neighborhood remains uncertain as plans move forward to build a condo complex around it.

Currently home to Peachtree Battle Antiques & Interiors, the circa-1929 structure designed by noted architect A Ten Eyck Brown and his associate Alfredo Barili Jr. was originally built as the National Library Bindery, and later housed the iconic Oxford Too bookshop.

The building was added to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Places in Peril” list in 2018 when an apartment development planned to demolish the Bindery for a parking garage. The plan was later amended to keep the facade and a portion of the building, but the apartment complex project fell apart.

Now, development firm Kolter Urban is planning a tower with 160 condos and a 330 space parking garage that would sit next door and behind the Bindery. The current site plan shows that only between 2,400 to 2,600 square feet of the 6,000 square foot Bindery will remain as part of the condo project. What the remaining portion of the building will be used for hasn’t been disclosed by the developer.

Peachtree Hills resident Laura Dobson, who has led efforts to preserve and bring awareness of the Bindery since 2016, said without any kind of written agreement with the developer, the building isn’t really being “saved” at all.

“It certainly isn’t being protected – not without even simple guidelines or standards agreed to,” Dobson said. “It can be fundamentally and profoundly changed.  It can be left in an unrecognizable form.  Or, it could suffer damage during construction and not be replaced. Whatever portion remains of The Bindery deserves to be meaningfully saved and protected. And that is not happening now.”

Atlanta Preservation Center executive director David Yoakley Mitchell said in a statement: “The Atlanta Preservation Center advocates for the protection of the National Book Bindery of Georgia, as it represents the work of A Ten Eyck Brown and his associate Alfredo Barili Jr.  It also establishes the connection to the important past of this community and ensures that the continuing changes of this area will not allow the historical importance of this district to disappear.  The appreciation of this building’s presence is the acknowledgment of the special character of this area’s cultural significance.”

A height variance for the condo project is slated to be heard at Neighborhood Planning Unit B’s zoning committee meeting on May 25 7 p.m.

A site plan for the new condo project with the Bindery circled in red.