Threatened with demolition for a storage facility, Jova-designed bank building could theoretically get a reprieve

Lovers of midcentury Atlanta quirk were outraged to hear the iconic, Henri Jova-designed Trust Company of Georgia bank building at Monroe Drive along Interstate 85 could be demolished for a self-storage facility.

But it wasn’t just ire from preservationists that bubbled to the surface. The building’s prime location near the future Beltline right-of-way (and in the Beltline Overlay District) riled those who deemed the storage-facility use contrary to what should be adjacent to a pedestrian-oriented path.

For the anti-demolition contingent, last night was a small victory.

After review by the Beltline Design Review Committee (DRC), the proposal for the 85,890-square-foot, five-story facility was recommended to be denied. The DRC also made clear that the bank building should be designated a city historic landmark, according to the Georgia chapter of DOCOMOMO.

The building is glass along the first floor, with offset black and white boxes stacked atop.

DOCOMOMO/US, Georgia Chapter, Inc. The proposed storage building being presented at the DRC meeting.

A commentator on the Atlanta Preservation Alliance Facebook page, Chad Carlson, noted that the DRC felt the “highest and best use” of the site should be explored, noting the demolition of the current building and erection of a storage facility would be “incompatible” with the future use of the Beltline.

While the news is positive for preservation advocates, Carlson noted that the recommendation is far from a guarantee the building will remain standing.

The DRC has no official capacity to save the building, and can only make a recommendation to Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) and the City Planning Office. Now, the NPU has 21 days to review the recommendation before it goes to the City Planning Office for a decision.

Of course, after that, all decisions are subject to appeal. The saga continues…