A notice of intent has been issued to nominate the Pratt-Pullman Yard as a landmark site due to its historic, cultural and architectural significance. This is a major move that could preserve the century-old fixture in Kirkwood.
Atlanta Urban Design Commissioner Executive Director Doug Young initiated the nomination and designation process on June 20 for the property, located at 225 Rogers Street, N.E.
A public hearing on the designation went before the Atlanta Urban Design Commission Wednesday, July 12. The commission found the site meets or exceeds specified criteria for designation as a "Landmark District."
The measure will now go through the city’s regular procedure for all zoning papers. That process includes another public hearing before the Zoning Review Board. It must also receive a recommendation from the Zoning Committee and final designation action from the Atlanta City Council.
With the issuance of the notice of intent, an “interim development control period, “ takes effect, meaning no alterations, renovations, additions, new construction, demolition or site work of any kind is permitted on the property for 180 days unless approved by the Office of Design’s Historic Preservation staff.
For years, the site faced an uncertain future, having passed through several ownerships and uses.
“This is a giant leap forward in our quest to preserve such a unique piece of our city’s history,” said District 5 City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong, who represents this historic Kirkwood neighborhood. “I am pleased that a process is underway to allow for the preservation of the buildings at the Pratt-Pullman Yard. Some of the buildings on this property are more than 100 years old and today serve as a testament to Atlanta’s railroading history and to contributions made by African-American workers.”
In 1904, the site began as the home of Pratt Engineering and Machine Company, a parts manufacturer for sugar and fertilizer processing plants. In 1917, the property served as a plant which manufactured munitions used by soldiers in World War I.
In 1922, Chicago-based Pullman Company purchased the property and turned it into a rail car repair station. At the time, the site was a major employer in Atlanta. In a segregated South, Pullman’s Atlanta shop manager began recruiting black workers from local porters and car cleaners. The company became one of the largest employers of African-Americans in the country.
The Pratt-Pullman Yard is comprised of 100,000 square feet of historic buildings and sits on 25.88 acres.
*Contains information from www.atlantaga.gov