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Atlanta Urban Design Commission officially nominates Pullman Yard as landmark district

Kirkwood and East Lake slideshow

Atlanta Urban Design Commission officially nominates Pullman Yard as landmark district

The Pullman Yard in Kirkwood. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

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The Pullman Yard in Kirkwood. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The Atlanta Urban Design Commission has officially voted to make the Pratt-Pullman Yard in Kirkwood a Landmark District.

The commission determined the site should be a land mark due to its “cultural and architectural significance to the city of Atlanta’s history.”

“The Pratt-Pullman Yard is not only unique in its architectural character but it reflects an important chapter in the history of our city. The buildings are emblematic of a time when railroads played a significant role in our city’s growth,” City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong said in a press release. “It is for these reasons that we want to preserve as many of the existing buildings as possible.

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Atomic Entertainment purchased the property from the state of Georgia for $8 million and there are plans to build an “entertainment district” there that includes a movie studio on the site. There will also be a “digital incubator, music and sound recording facilities, food and beverage concepts and a boutique hotel onsite,” the press release from the city says.

Construction could start in the next 12 months, according to the press release. Atomic Entertainment CEO Adam Rosenfelt is quoted in the press release as saying, “By creating a self-inclusive entertainment district, we will be supporting the significant creative and cultural economies this city has to offer. Our goal is to create a dynamic community that establishes a new paradigm for traditional mixed-use development, one which, will appeal to both local Atlantans and visitors alike.”

Decaturish asked Rosenfelt whether the nomination would affect his plans for the project.

“We see this as a positive step and perfectly in keeping with the spirit of cooperation and partnership we anticipate having with the city of Atlanta as we advance the development of this iconic landmark,” he said.

According to the city, in 1922 the Pratt-Pullman Yard was “a major employer” that actively recruited black workers from the ranks of local porters and car cleaners. It became one of the largest employer of African Americans in the country.

The Pratt-Pullman Yard – originally farmland purchased in 1904 by the Pratt Engineering Company for a sugar and fertilizer processing plant – was used for munitions manufacturing during World War I.

It was purchased in 1922 by the Pullman Passenger Rail Company and used as a rail car service and repair facility. Southern Iron and Equipment Company used it from 1955 to the 1970’s. The facility was closed after the federal court order split up the Pullman Passenger Rail Company.

Georgia Power used the facility for its fleet of Trackless Trolleys, a name for electric buses. The Georgia Building Authority bought the property in 1990. It was briefly used as part of the New Georgia Railroad, a dinner train running from Underground Atlanta to Stone Mountain. In the years leading up to the sale, it had become a popular filming location.

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