Officials Withdraw Pratt-Pullman Yard Historic Status Plans

Credit Dan Raby / WABE

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The Atlanta Urban Design Commission has voted to withdraw a plan that would have granted a former Atlanta industrial property historic status.

The state owns the 28-acre Pratt-Pullman Yard: 11 buildings and a considerable amount of unused grassy space. It’s been empty for decades, but once was the repair yard for Pullman train cars. Now it occasionally serves as a set for films like the “Hunger Games” series.

The Urban Design Commission was considering granting the site local Landmark status, which would have restricted how a buyer could develop the property.

Charles Lawrence, the founder of The Atlanta Preservation Alliance, helped develop the neighborhood’s recommended guidelines for the site.

“Whoever bought the property would understand that to get a certificate of appropriateness for demolition they would have to go through an enormously prohibitive process,” Lawrence said, explaining the Landmark status. “Whereas, if they wanted to do an appropriate historic renovation, it would be much more streamlined.”

Such a project would still have to go through a review process via the Urban Design Commission, but any project that followed the Secretary of Interior’s standards for historic rehabilitation would be approved.

The city of Atlanta has said it will now go “back to the drawing board,” and meet with the state to determine next steps for the Pratt-Pullman Yard. The city has not granted historic status to a building since 2009.

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