Thursday, August 22, 2013

CL is moving to... Downtown!

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 9:41 AM

M. Rich Building
And not just Downtown, but the heart of Downtown.

In late September, CL will say farewell to Atlantic Station's trees that play music and move into new offices located at the M. Rich Building, a historic and architecturally significant structure located just blocks away from Five Points and the government offices where we often pester elected officials. Local arts aficionados might be familiar with the offices; Dashboard Co-Op transformed them into an arts space for its Boom City presentation earlier this year.Tyler Perry also apparently shot office scenes for his film "Temptation" in the space.

The building is the former home of M. Rich and Bros Co., the predecessor of the Rich's department store empire. According to the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, the original 1882 building was overhauled and expanded in 1906 by Morgan & Dillon, a notable Atlanta architecture firm. The firm also designed the Healey Building and All Saints Episcopal Church, among many other notable Atlanta structures. More history, courtesy of the AUDC:

According to a newspaper article that appeared on the front page of the Sunday, June 17, 1907 edition of The Atlanta Constitution, general merchandise was located in the new Main Store section of the building while furniture and carpets occupied the Furniture Annex. The Hunter Ell contained an employee restaurant, offices and several departments including crockery, shoes and pianos.

By 1924, M. Rich & Bros. Co. has outgrown the building and moved into a new location at Broad and Alabama Street. The following year, the building was occupied by W. T. Grant Company, a national department store. W. T. Grant Company remained in the building until 1974 when it closed its doors after declaring bankruptcy.

There's much more, including details about the building's architecture, where that came from. Land developer (and later congressman) Pat Swindall purchased the building in the late 1970s, later sold it, and regained control in 1990. After that, the portion of the building facing Peachtree Street hosted a flea market, vendors, and shops. At least one CL-er bought his first "novelty ID" as a high schooler at the building. In 2010, the Creations Group acquired the property and started re-imagining the spaces as homes for creative organizations and businesses.

We're excited to join such creative groups as C4 Atlanta, a nonprofit aimed at helping local artists excel in their fields, and Eyedrum, the arts collective. We're also excited to be near the Five Points MARTA station and Broad Street's myriad lunch options. And, most of all, find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a historic neighborhood that we love and want to help become even better.

After the jump, a sneak peek at the new office. Expect plenty of photos of our new space once we get the keys. If you're in the neighborhood, be sure to drop by. But until late September, you can still find us at Atlantic Station.

Note: Jeff Clemmons, the author of a book about the Rich's company, notes in an email to CL that the city's information about the building's architects is not accurate. The building was actually designed by Morgan and Dillon. The post has been altered to reflect the change.

This is where we will hold dances, probably
  • M. Rich Building
  • M. Rich Building

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