Word - Palamont Demolition

Goodbye to one of the first African-American motels in Atlanta

On Feb. 22 (after the print edition went to press), the Palamont Motel, one of the first African-American hotels in Atlanta, was scheduled to be demolished. The Palamont, which has sat vacant for 20 years, will be replaced with a mixed-use development on the corner of Auburn and Piedmont avenues as part of a project to revitalize Sweet Auburn, once called "the richest Negro street in the world." Below are some thoughts on the demolition.</
"I don't think [the motel] served as much as a historical spot for black Atlanta as it did for entertainment. In its heyday it was a good place, a wild experience. But it went downhill. You'd have to practically tear it down to restore it."</
-- Wellington Howard, owner of Georgia Insurance Brokerage on Auburn Avenue</
"There has been a desire for many years to restore the vibrancy of Sweet Auburn. [The development] will eliminate what has been a decimated area for some time. It was the right decision to let the Palamont go."</
-- Rodney Johnson, development manager for the Integral Group, a black-owned company spearheading Auburn Avenue's redevelopment</
"[The motel] has fallen to vagrants and neglect and lost any significance. Other [historic] buildings need to be salvaged so this doesn't happen."</
-- Herman "Skip" Mason Jr., local grassroots historian and archivist</
READ ON: For more on the changing face of black Atlanta, see our cover.