Fight to Save Important Country Music Site in Atlanta Returns to Court
The battle to save the Atlanta, Ga., site where Fiddlin’ John Carson recorded the first country music hit in 1923 remains a legal matter. After a lawsuit regarding the matter was dismissed recently, another temporary restraining order to halt the building's demolition was granted on Friday (Oct. 25).
Per the Associated Press, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Paige Reese Whitaker granted the temporary restraining order against further demolition of the building in response to a lawsuit filed by local architect Kyle Kessler. In August, crews destroyed the building’s roof before a different judge issued a prior temporary restraining order.
“Last Friday, I personally took legal action against the City of Atlanta to stop the demolition of 152 Nassau Street and 141 Walton Street, two historic buildings I had brought to the City's attention in May 2017,” Kessler writes in an email to supporters. “Both were unanimously supported for Landmark Building designation by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission in June 2017 and were scheduled for final votes by the City Council in September 2017, which, if approved by the City Council, would have triggered laws that require further investigation into any potential alteration or demolition of those two properties.
“However, in November 2017, the attorney representing the developers planning to demolish both buildings and the City of Atlanta's attorney signed what I believe to be an improper agreement that stopped the publicly accessible historic designation process and thereby silenced the people of Atlanta’s right to hearing and subverted democratic principles that prevent abuse of power,” he adds. “Coincidentally, these two attorneys who signed the agreement for the developer and the city had been colleagues in private practice at an Atlanta law firm prior to the city's attorney assuming the role.”
The Nassau Street building is part of the plans for a 21-story Margaritaville resort. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution discovered that the site of what was likely Atlanta’s first recording studio stands where the resort plans to set up dumpsters and grease traps.
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