Historic Capitol View church that residents hoped would be part of new library is eyed for demolition

The wrecking ball never rests in Atlanta


The wrecking ball never seems to rest in Atlanta. Case in point: Capitol View Baptist Church in southwest Atlanta.

Fulton County officials are looking to hire a firm to demolish the nearly 86-year-old church that preservationists and some neighborhood residents hoped would be reused as part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System’s new 25,000 square-foot branch.

The system purchased the property earlier this year with cash from a $275 million bond referendum voters approved in 2008 that will fund eight new libraries in Alpharetta, east Roswell, Milton, northwest Atlanta, Palmetto, southeast Atlanta, and Wolf Creek, and the expansion of the Auburn Avenue research library and the South Fulton branch. The location would serve the Capitol View, Sylvan Hills and Pittsburgh neighborhoods, among others. It also hired a team of architects, including Smith-Dalia, a firm with experience in reusing old buildings.

The bid document - here’s a very big PDF - seeks a firm to handle “Permitting, Abatement of asbestos containing materials (ACM) in the roof, salvage itemized materials, demolish and dispose of all portions of the existing building and site structures at 1332 Metropolitan Parkway.” (Local architecture buff - and recent CL critics’ pick for best blogger - Terry Kearns has posted some of the details and photos of the building.) Proposals are due near the end of the month.

The historic church that sits atop the hill at the corner of Metropolitan Parkway and Dill Avenues, just a few blocks south of the Atlanta Beltline, has sat empty and waiting for a purpose for several years. Last we heard, it was most recently the home to a nonprofit that provided transitional housing to homeless women and children. Nearby residents had various hopes for the structure, including a performing arts or community center.

Library system officials’ decision to locate the new branch on the property - and potentially reuse the existing structure as part of the facility - delighted many residents. It was unknown, however, if the church would actually be preserved. Stained-glass windows are boarded up, bricks are falling away, and the paint is peeling.

UPDATE, 5:27 p.m. A library system spokeswoman confirms that Smith Dahlia were asked to “investigate the feasibility of preserving the church that sits on the site where the new library will be built.”

“Smith Dalia provided four options during the project narrative portion of the design phase, one of which proposed salvaging a portion of the structure and incorporating it as part of the new library,” she says in an email. “However, it was determined that this option was cost prohibitive within the budget for the project. The design plans do include salvaging parts of the building, and the architects anticipate incorporating them into the new library. The schematic design for this project is currently being reviewed internally, and once approved, we will schedule the community meeting to present design.”

We’ve embedded the bid document after the jump.

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Atlanta-Fulton Library System seek firm to demolish Capitol View Baptist Church for new library by thomaswheatley