Peachtree Gardens Clubhouse

Pictures of its final days?

The following email was sent to the NBCA email list on 10/22/00:

Dear North Buckhead neighbor,

As many of you know, an 8.5 acre site surrounded by Mountain Drive and North Ivy Road is being developed for as many as 15 homes. According to a flyer available on the site, the price of these homes, for the seven homes for which a price has been established, ranges from $889,000 to $929,900, which provides new meaning to the term "gentrification". But that is not the point of this email.

On the North Ivy side of the development is a large clubhouse building. This 17,000 square foot "Peachtree Gardens Clubhouse" building was built in 1927 as a "dance hall." Given that it was built during the Prohibition era, it was probably used for other things, but that is just my guessing. It was operated as a commercial site for many years for proms and the like, finally falling into disuse in the 1980s. The building is easily old enough to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. However, neither the previous owner nor the current owner have chosen to have it listed on that register and no person with deep enough pockets ever came in to save the building.

Because a portion of the subdivision's land was occupied by wetlands and therefore under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Army and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources/Historic Preservation Division gained some control over the development. They have required the developer, Louis Reynaud, to either preserve the old building or to "mitigate" its destruction. Recently, Reynaud proposed to mitigate the destruction of the building by providing the state with a photographic record of the building and a narrative history of the building. The Historic Preservation Division has apparently found this mitigation plan acceptable in principle.

I spoke with Louis Reynaud yesterday as he observed work at the site. He said that within about two weeks he will submit to the state his mitigation materials. Should they be found acceptable mitigation, as they likely will, he will then be able to secure a demolition permit from the City and destroy the building. (I will try to get digital copies of the photos and the narrative to display on our www.nbca.org web site. If any of you have old photos from the building's bygone days, I would be so nice for you to let me to borrow them to make copies for our web site.)

As I spoke to Reynaud, a bulldozer was clearing the dense foliage (but not the trees) from the site to permit the photography of the site. Accordingly, you are now better able to see the building from the street than has been possible for years and years. When I moved to North Ivy Road over 25 years ago, the site was surrounded by an eight foot solid wood fence which was old at the time, so it has probably been 30 years or so since you could see the building as well as you can today.

At its best the building is not in good shape -- paint is peeling and wood is rotting. The worst damage is on the difficult-to-see west side of the building, where parts of the roof have collapsed and knocked a large segment of the wall to the ground. Reynaud said that this damage was caused by a 1991 wind storm which peeled shingles from the roof -- never replaced, the missing shingles let rain water in and the structure rotted.

I have put pictures of the newly uncovered clubhouse at www.nbca.org/PGCH_Final.htm.

I encourage you to drive by the site in the next week or two to give it a last look. Remember that the site is private property and structurally unsafe.

Some people love the place and some people hate it, but time to give this building a your last goodbye is drawing short.

Sincerely,

Gordon Certain
President
North Buckhead Civic Association

Pictures taken 10/22/00
These pictures are taken in a generally counterclockwise direction
from the intersection of Buff Drive at North Ivy Road
around to the intersection of Glengary Drive at North Ivy Road
(Click on pictures to enlarge)
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Other information about the Peachtree Gardens Subdivision