Sunday, November 7, 2021

Southern Bell Building

I know it’s hard to believe, but I have a new entry for you less than a year from my last one! So pop the champagne or perhaps a delicious nearly-flavored La Croix and join me for a look at a unique Atlanta building downtown.

Let us begin.

Today’s block is home to the old Southern Bell (now AT&T) communications building. The current boundaries are as follows:

North: John Wesley Dobbs Avenue - formerly Houston Street

East: Courtland Street - formerly Collins Street

South: Auburn Avenue - formerly Wheat Street

West: Peachtree Center Avenue - formerly Ivy Street (also Peachtree on some early maps)

We begin our tale in the 1830s, when Atlanta was just a twinkle in its mother’s eye. At that time, an early settler named Hardy Ivy purchased a land lot that now encompasses much of Downtown Atlanta from Five Points to Peachtree Center (today it makes up a couple dozen city blocks, including ours here). Ivy built a double-log cabin a couple blocks north of ours, probably around where the Sheraton Hotel currently sits (depends on who you ask). Downtown Atlanta was just a big farm then, with livestock grazing where today the streetcar sits in traffic.

Artist's Rendering of Hardy Ivy's Cabin
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

Hardy Ivy was thrown from his horse and died around 1841-1842 when the (very) small town was still called Terminus. His final resting place was lost to history.

Or was it?? More on that later...

After Hardy Ivy’s death, the land was sold off in chunks. When Hardy’s wife Sarah Todd died of smallpox shortly before the end of the Civil War in 1865 (she’s buried in Oakland Cemetery), their children sold off most of the remaining land that Hardy owned after the war, in large part due to increased taxes. The land would soon become some of the most valuable real estate in the city, unbeknownst to the Ivys, many of whom remained somewhat poor. But Ivy Street was named after their patriarch, so there’s that.

Getting specifically to our block, one of the plots sold (or possibly leased) by the Ivys before the Civil War was the southwest corner of the block at Ivy and Wheat Streets. This was home to Alexander McGhee Wallace, a prominent merchant who moved to Atlanta from Dalton in 1855. His home was burned during the Siege of Atlanta and he settled elsewhere in the city until his death in 1901.

Alexander McGhee Wallace
The Atlanta Historical Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 1, March 1967
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

By 1871, a good bit of the block and surrounding area had been settled, as you can see in the birds’ eye view from that year.


One prominent new resident was John Calvin Peck, who built his house on Ivy Street sometime between 1868 and 1870. I think in the birds’ eye view it’s the one with the cupola on the west side of the block. He would live in this house until his death in 1908.

John Calvin Peck
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Mar. 6, 1908

Peck was a builder and contractor. During the Civil War he and his business partner Francis Day owned a mill and shop on Decatur Street, which manufactured guns for the Confederacy. After the war, in 1866, he built the original capitol building at Marietta and Forsyth Streets. 

Original State Capitol Building
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

In 1870, he was hired to build the first Kimball House on Pryor Street, one of the city’s tallest buildings at the time, which burned down in 1883.

Original Kimball House
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

He also had a decorative woodwork business for windows, mantles, and the like.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | July 24, 1889

Returning to a dangling thread from earlier: Famed Atlanta historian Franklin Garrett did some sleuthing about Hardy Ivy’s lost grave, which he wrote about in his mammoth tome Atlanta and Environs (first published in 1954 and later expanded). In speaking to Ivy’s descendants, Garrett determined there were a few plausible locations for Ivy's grave, including Decatur Cemetery (the only public cemetery at the time of Ivy’s death) and Oakland Cemetery (which did not exist when he died, but his body may have been moved after his widow was buried there in 1865). 

However, Garrett spoke with Hardy Ivy’s grandson Edgar in the 1930s, who told him that he always understood Hardy to be buried “near the house” in an unmarked grave, which was never moved. “Near the house” COULD theoretically be about two modern blocks away from the house, yes? But in which direction?

Well, Mr. Garrett also spoke to John C. Peck’s grandchildren, who said that when they would visit their grandfather’s house as children, there was a gated garden in between the main house and the carriage house in the back of the property. Inside the gate was a pre-existing grave, but no one knew whose it was, and there’s no record of it ever being moved. Garrett believed there was a good chance that this grave belonged to Hardy Ivy himself, and that he could still be buried there under 100 years of development. It’s impossible to say with any certainty, but it’s an interesting thing to consider as we move through the years.

Moving onto the 1878 atlas, we get some more names of residents on the block.


Where Alexander McGhee Wallace’s house was burned during the Civil War, we now see the property of Thomas Goodfellow Healey (it's misspelled on the map).

Thomas Goodfellow Healey
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

Healey was a brick manufacturer and contractor. In 1877, he built the original Healey Building with his son Thomas on the present site of the William-Oliver Building (which was built by his son and is named after his grandsons).

Original Healey Building
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

Back to the 1878 atlas, to the north of Healey's property we see Peck’s lot with what could be Hardy Ivy’s grave chilling in the backyard.

Right there, maybe?

Healey and Peck weren't just neighbors, they were also business partners, starting the Atlanta Car Works together in 1892. The rail was ALL the rage back then. In the photo below, T. G. Healey is on the far right and J. C. Peck is fourth from the left.

Formation of Atlanta Car Works, 1892
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

Back to the 1878 atlas, the only other name I could find anything about was Theodore G. Eiswald, who bought the Coal Creek Coal Company in 1877. He died around 1879.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Feb. 4, 1877

Around 1881, Dr. William Croom Bellamy moved into a house here on Wheat Street (I had a hard time figuring out which one specifically) with his wife Fannie and their adult daughter Minnie. Bellamy was born in Newbern, NC in 1830 and attended UGA around 1848. He later received his M.D. from Savannah Medical College and married Francis “Fannie” Lindsey in 1855. As a physician in Atlanta, he specialized in opium and alcohol addiction.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Oct. 8, 1882

The year 1884 proved to be a tumultuous one for Dr. Bellamy. First, he had some kind of legal issues with the city, which I couldn’t find anything more specific than a passing mention in the newspaper. Then in February, The Constitution ran an ad for the Swift Specific Company (you might remember them from our post on the Butler Deck) featuring an endorsement from Dr. Bellamy. The ad--designed, as many were, to look like a news article--told the story of one Annie Stewart, a 70 year-old woman who was bitten by a house cat and infected with a strange illness. After time, Mrs. Stewart’s symptoms had worsened until, AND I QUOTE:

“She would get down on the floor, crawl around and endeavour to catch rats. Then she would purr, mew, and do a great many things suggestive of the characteristics of a cat.”

It’s almost hard to believe. Anyway, no doctors could help, the ad claimed, until Dr. Bellamy prescribed Swift’s Specific (S.S.S.), which naturally cleared things right up.

It should surprise no one that the following month, both Annie Stewart and Dr. Bellamy sued Swift Specific Company for telling a bunch of stupid lies, seeking a total of $35,000 in damages. I couldn’t find anything confirming how that was resolved, but I did find the following photo of Annie Stewart:

Later that year, Dr. Bellamy was in the news again for threatening to shoot and kill a young man named Charles Spunner. Spunner had apparently been visiting Bellamy for a while (unclear if it was as a patient or for some other reason), but at some point Bellamy told him never to come back. Sometime later, however, Spunner showed up outside Bellamy’s home, prompting Bellamy to grab his gun from inside. His family stopped him from getting back to the door long enough for Spunner to get away. I don’t know what this was all about, but I’m sure it’s nothing a little Swift’s Specific wouldn’t clear up.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Aug. 10, 1890

Perhaps all of this stress took its toll on Dr. Bellamy, because sometime around 1886 he was admitted to the state asylum in Milledgeville (later Central State Hospital). As a patient there, he started the Asylum Library where he served as librarian. He frequently wrote to the Macon Telegraph newspaper thanking patrons for donations and inviting others to send books in.

Milledgeville Asylum, 1894
Vanishing Georgia | Digital Library of Georgia

He eventually left the asylum and returned to Atlanta, where he died in his home on Wheat Street in 1893. He is buried in Westview Cemetery.

This brings us to the 1892 birds' eye view and Sanborn map:



Bellamy's house would have been one of the ones along the south end on Wheat Street. In the birds' eye view, we see what appears to be lumber on the southwest corner at the old Healey property.

Zooming right along to the 1899 Sanborn map, we see a couple changes to the block showing the area gaining a bit of density.


On the east side at Courtland, one of the dwellings has been replaced by row houses. On the north end at Houston, the Cooledge Hotel has replaced one of the dwellings there.

Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

The 1911 Sanborn map (man, we are really flying!) brings us even more changes, particularly on Auburn Ave (formerly Wheat Street). 


First, on the southeast corner at Auburn and Courtland, we have the N. P. Pratt Laboratory.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Apr. 9, 1899

Nathaniel Palmer Pratt was born in Midway, GA, near Milledgeville in 1858, the son of a prominent scientist who made explosives for the Confederacy. He opened his first lab in Atlanta around 1885, specializing in the analysis of chemicals and ores. By 1895, he found great success with his new patented process for manufacturing sulfuric acid, which led to the construction of his new laboratory here in 1899.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | May 8, 1898

If you are thinking that close proximity to a chemical plant might be problematic for, say, these folks…’d be right! Around 1901, complaints of smoke and soot in the neighborhood led Pratt to raise the height of the smokestack. But the problem persisted, and in 1902 Pratt was charged with creating a nuisance, as neighbors testified that “soot fell so thick as to cover porches and that clothes could not be washed in back yards and windows on many days could not be left open.” (AJC | Aug. 8, 1902)

Ultimately, though, the charges were dismissed because the emissions fell within sanitary limits of the day. I wonder if anything was able to help those poor people with their symptoms…

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Aug. 10, 1890

Pollution aside, Pratt’s lab was a success, and in 1904 he expanded to open the Fulton Foundry and Machine Works in Kirkwood with his brother George. That plant manufactured machine parts for plants and refineries, including a sugar refinery in Cuba. That company was later known as Pratt Engineering and Machinery. 

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Oct. 2, 1908

As a brief aside: The famous Pullman railroad car company bought the Kirkwood site in 1926 and used it as their repair shop. Now known as the Pratt-Pullman Yard, it was vacant for some time, and in the last several years was used as a filming location for various motion pictures. It’s currently undergoing a major redevelopment and recently housed Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. If you know the area, you are no doubt familiar with it.

Anyway, back to our block.

Close to the Pratt Laboratory at 78 Auburn, we see the Coca Cola Bottling Company’s new plant, which was built around 1903.

Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

circa 1910
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

By 1917, the bottling plant was taken over by the American Canning Corporation. Founded by former Atlanta councilman and auto dealer Dan Walraven with Coca-Cola executive Charles V. Rainwater serving as president, American Canning specialized in canning local growers’ surplus produce.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | July 1, 1917

This venture either soon failed or moved elsewhere, however, because Parsons Motor Corporation took over the building in 1919.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Feb. 16, 1919

Parsons Motor Corp. was founded by Atlanta native William A. Parsons. Prior to forming his motor company, Parsons was vice president of Pratt Engineering and Machinery in Kirkwood and was in charge of their operations in Cuba. Parsons Motor Corp. was Atlanta’s Stewart Trucks distributor and is the first of many automotive businesses to set up shop on this block.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | May 12, 1919

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | June 27, 1920

This brings us to the 1919 birds’ eye view.


Here we can see the Pratt Laboratory at the southeast corner, Parsons Motor just to the west of it (not labeled), the Cooledge to the north, and a mixture of businesses, apartment buildings, and single homes.

Among the apartment buildings was The Felton, which sat on Ivy St. just to the left of the Cooledge on the 1919 map.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Apr. 7, 1917

1919 was a big year for Pratt Laboratory. The Coca-Cola Company, which had recently been acquired by Ernest Woodruff’s Trust Company of Georgia, bought Pratt Laboratory to capitalize on its manufacturing of carbonic acid gas, a key ingredient of Coke. Not long after, the laboratory moved to Coca-Cola’s new headquarters on North Avenue and changed its name to the Crystal Carbonic Laboratory. The old lab here on Auburn Ave. would soon be demolished.

Over on Ivy Street, in 1921 the Wynne Motor Company moved into its newly constructed building. Wynne was a distributor for Indiana Trucks, who opened a parts depot in the same building.

Wynne shared the building (which we will see more of shortly) with Hargrave Bros. Garage, the brothers being John and Benjamin. I couldn’t find anything about John, but Benjamin was a World War I veteran who later retired from the Georgia Power Company and died in 1979.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Sept. 2, 1928

In 1927, Gibbs-Kendall Tire Co. opened in what I'm pretty sure was the Wynne Motor Company space on Ivy St., but it might have just been the same building (lots of companies shared this building over the years).

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Aug. 12, 1928

The company sold Brunswick tires and was founded by R. I. Gibbs of Cornelia, GA, and B. P. Kendall of Paulding County.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Nov. 27, 1927
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Mar. 10, 1928

Also in 1927, J.C. Peck’s home was demolished and a parking lot took its place. Hardy Ivy’s theoretical final resting place very possibly got paved over at this point, unless it was moved somewhere. We will likely never know, and I hate that.

This brings us to the 1928 atlas.


In the southwest corner is a new big building that wasn't actually constructed until 1929 (we could be looking at an updated version of the 1928 map). 

Anyway, that building would be the new headquarters for the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company, which at the time serviced nine states. Designed by architects P. Thornton Marye, Barrett Alger, and Olivier Vanour, the nifty art deco building was planned to be 25 stories.

circa 1927
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

City Builder | Jan. 1928
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

Southern Bell liked to plan ahead, though, so they started with only the first six stories and only a fraction of the planned footprint, construction of which began early in 1929 at an estimated cost of $1,000,000.

Photo by Reeves Studios | circa 1930
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

In the 1931 Sanborn map, we (kinda) see the Southern Bell building at the bottom left corner (it shows as a dark square on this black-and-white copy of the map).


Up on the northern end of the block, we (also kinda) see a new building right in the middle of Houston Street (also a big dark square). That’s the newly constructed C. E. Freeman Ford dealership.

Under construction, 1930
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Nov. 6, 1931

By now, most of the single-family dwellings on the block are gone, but you can see a couple remaining over on Courtland. When it comes to these houses, Lee Aaron put it best:

By 1940, new development (and parking) on Courtland saw to the end of the remaining houses. Specifically, Dixie Drive-It-Yourself System opened their new truck rental garage at 70-74 Courtland.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Mar. 22, 1943

The company was based out of Birmingham and also had a passenger car rental location in Atlanta on Ellis Street.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Oct. 28, 1940

Around this time, the Cooledge Hotel changed its name to the New Wilmot Hotel.

By 1945, the old Gibbs-Kendall Tire Company building on Ivy Street was occupied at least in part by Webster Garage & Body Shop.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Aug. 5, 1945

In 1946, work began on a new eight-story expansion to the Southern Bell Building, which would bring it to a total of 14 stories (still well short of the 25 planned, but now one of the tallest buildings in the city).

Shutze and Armistead drawing, 1945
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

The expansion cost approximately $1.5 million and would house new office space and equipment to handle the increasing demand for long-distance service.

Jul. 19, 1946
Lane Bros. Commercial Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Mar. 3, 1947
Lane Bros. Commercial Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Construction was still underway on the new expansion when a nationwide telephone worker strike commenced. In April 1947, the National Federation of Telephone Workers organized a strike of almost 300,000 workers seeking better wages and benefits. In Atlanta, picket lines formed at the entrance of Southern Bell’s buildings on April 8.

Apr. 28. 1947
Atlanta-Journal Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Mildred Mitchell and Mallory Mann, 1947
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Apr. 8, 1947

Out of respect for the strike, construction workers halted work on the expansion.

Photo by Guy Hayes | Apr. 1947
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Long distance service was affected by the strike, resulting in executives and volunteers--made up of former and retired employees--stepping in to handle switchboards.

Apr. 8, 1947
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

The strike lasted just over a month, with employees returning to work after the NFTW negotiated for a fraction of their demands.

With the strike over, construction on the building was completed. The following 1947 photograph gives us a nice view of the block looking east.

May 9, 1947
Lane Bros. Commercial Photographs | Georgia State University Library

In October of that year, with the strike behind them and with newly enlarged facilities, Southern Bell installed a new switchboard on the seventh floor. The largest of its kind in the Southeast, the new switchboard helped accommodate the increasing demand for long-distance connections.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Oct. 15, 1947

This brings us to the 1949 aerial photo.


Let’s take a moment to re-orient ourselves, shall we?

We see Southern Bell on the southwest corner. North of that, in the building’s shadow, is the parking lot beneath which Hardy Ivy’s bones might rest. Above that is the Webster Garage building, then the Felton. 

Above the Felton on the northwest corner, we see a commercial building (lots of various businesses in and out of there over the years; too many to highlight). To the east of that is the Cooledge, then the Freeman Ford dealership.

A gas station and garage sit on the northeast corner to the east of Freeman Ford. To the south of that is the Dixie Drive-It-Yourself System. To the south of that on the southeast corner (where the Pratt Laboratory used to be) is another gas station and garage, I believe.

Then the long narrow building stretching north from the southern end of the block is the Parsons Motor Corp. building (formerly the Coca-Cola Bottling Company plant), which at this time was occupied by the Cooper Candy Company.

Good? Good.

Looking northeast, 1950
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

More strikes hit Southern Bell throughout the 1950s. In November of 1950, a brief strike by local Western Electric employees--who installed and maintained Southern Bell phone lines--disrupted some Bell services.

Nov. 13, 1950
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Nov. 14, 1950

In 1952, another Western Electric strike, this time nationwide, lasted about a week.

Apr. 1952
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

George Shaw gives circulars to Marian Bennett, Mary White, and Grace Hammond | Apr. 9. 1952
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

In 1955, a much longer strike in all nine states serviced by Southern Bell commenced. Negotiations broke down in part because of Southern Bell’s insistence that the new contract included a no-strike clause, which would prohibit workers from striking for the life of the contract. Things got pretty heated, and isolated instances of vandalism to phone lines and some violence were reported.

Southern Labor Archives | Georgia State University Library

Southern Labor Archives | Georgia State University Library
Communication Workers of America, 1955
Southern Labor Archives | Georgia State University Library

This strike lasted over two months, but service was largely unaffected. In the end, the no-strike clause was included in the final contract, but the union was reportedly happy with higher wages and other gains.

Southern Bell interior | June 1958
Photo by Tracy O'Neal
Georgia State University Library

By 1960, the Southern Bell building expanded again with a 5-story addition on the east side of the building.

Photo by Tracy O'Neal | Aug. 8, 1961
Georgia State University Library

July 14, 1960
Lane Bros. Commercial Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Photo by Kenneth Rogers | Aug. 1961
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Photo by Herbert H. Lee, 1961
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

My guess is that expansion resulted in the end of the old Coca-Cola Bottling Company building. Then in 1964, work began on extending that expansion vertically.

Photo by Tracy O'Neal | Jan. 1964
Georgia State University Library

Photo by Tracy O'Neal | Jan. 1964
Georgia State University Library

When it was finished, a full expansion on the east wing brought it up to the height of the existing building. This was the last time the building would expand, still stopping short of the original plan.

Photo by Floyd E. Jillson | Dec. 21, 1965
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Around 1957, Dixie Drive-It Yourself System was replaced (or bought) by Ryder Truck Rental, which moved out in 1961.

View of the southeast corner of the block at Auburn and Courtland, 1960
Photo by Charles E. Troutt
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

In 1969, construction was underway on a new electronic switching system office for Southern Bell on Courtland, which meant the Dixie/Ryder building was demolished. The new Bell building was completed and occupied around 1971. That building remains today. It's the lower rectangular one toward the bottom right corner of the photo below.

Jan. 31, 1974 [image cropped]
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

In that photo you can see the communications tower under construction on top of the old Bell building. The photo below has a nice view of the completed tower. It makes for quite an architectural oddity.

Photo by Floyd E. Jillson | Dec. 26, 1974
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

According to its application for the National Register of Historic Places, by the 1970s the old Southern Bell Building was occupied mostly by machinery rather than people, with the roof full of all that transmission equipment. At this point, the building couldn’t be expanded to the original plan of 25 stories even if someone wanted to, because the overall weight would be too heavy.

Photo by Floyd E. Jillson, 1980
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

Photo by Cotten Alston, circa 1980
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

Photo by Cotten Alston, circa 1980
Atlanta History Center | Kenan Research Center

Facing federal antitrust lawsuits, AT&T (‘Ma Bell’) was ordered to break up the Bell System into seven independent Regional Bell Operating Companies (‘Baby Bells’) to take effect Jan. 1, 1984. Southern Bell and South Central Bell spun off from AT&T and became BellSouth, the largest of the new regional companies.

With this divestiture came news of consolidated positions and lots of corporate restructuring. Seeking better job security in an uncertain future, Communications Workers of America called for yet another strike in 1983. 675,000 workers went on strike nationwide, and picketers lined up outside the Ivy Street and Courtland Street buildings. The strike lasted about 20 days before an agreement was reached.

Photo by Louie Favorite | Aug. 7, 1983
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Photo by Louie Favorite | Aug. 7, 1983
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Aug. 23, 1983

Some years later, AT&T ate all of those Baby Bells up again, so that’s the logo that currently adorns these buildings.

I mean, who can resist?

Moving on from the phone company, let’s briefly hop up to the northern end of the block where the Freeman Ford dealership was. Jumping back in time a bit, by the mid-1950s the Ford dealership had been replaced by a Willys Motors dealership.

Oct. 10, 1956
Lane Bros. Commercial Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Oct. 10, 1956
Lane Bros. Commercial Photographs | Georgia State University Library

Some of you might know Willys as the original manufacturer of the Jeep, first developed for the US War Department during World War II but quickly pivoted for civilians when the war was over.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Feb. 9, 1955

I'm not sure how long Willys Motors lasted in the building or what (if anything) occupied it for many years after. But as Atlanta was gearing up for the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996, lots of developers set their sights on properties all over downtown. Two developers, Bill Clear and Jim Cumming, teamed up with frequent collaborator, architect Ron Stang, to convert the old building into the Freeman Ford Lofts.

Ron Stang and Jim Cumming
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Feb. 4, 1996

Picture it: In 60 years people might be living in the Jim Ellis Chevrolet Lofts somewhere. Wild…

Anyway, the Freeman Ford Lofts won the 1997 Urban Design Commission’s Award of Excellence for Adaptive Use. I found the following photos on FF Lofts’ website, and there’s a bunch of old Ford stuff peppered in the decor. Pretty cool.

Speaking of decor, around 2007 there was a retail space in the building that housed a modern furniture shop and gallery called Context. I believe Context Gallery is still in operation, just not here at the Ford Freeman Lofts building anymore.

And that about brings us up to date! Only three buildings remain on the block today: the two AT&T buildings and the Ford Freeman Lofts. 

Regarding Hardy Ivy’s remains, the parking lot on top of Peck’s old property actually has a ramp down into an underground deck.

It seems likely to me that if there ever were any bones down there, they were bulldozed into oblivion a long time ago. But who knows, maybe one day a pipe will burst and a corpse will spill out of the wall Temple of Doom style.

Anyway, I hope you found something of interest here today. Thank you as always for stopping by!

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