One of the things Lerner writes about is the history of public attitudes toward drunk driving. He uses the example of Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind, who was crossing the street with her husband in Atlanta in 1949 when she was hit by a drunk driver and died.
According to Lerner, people initially reacted with horror, but then attitudes shifted and there started to be more sympathy for the driver — who had had 22 previous arrests for driving violations, including speeding and drunk driving — than for Mitchell.
“This is such an instructive case about drunk driving in this country,” Lerner says. “For years and years, back in that era, people who were killed or victimized by a drunk driver were seen as being in the wrong place at the wrong time — that these things happen. And that was very much the case with Margaret Mitchell. After the initial outrage, people started to say, ‘Well, it was her time to go.’
I’ve always been surprised there’s no kind of marker identifying the spot where Margaret Mitchell was mowed down at 13th and Peachtree. At least it would give the GWTW tourists another spot to check out.
As currently envisioned, Georgia Tech would redevelop the Crum & Forster block and keep more than the historic building’s facade but would want to tear down part of the building.
Lisa Grovenstein, Georgia Tech’s director of media relations, sent SaportaReport a couple of emails on Tuesday to elaborate further on the university’s conceptual plans for the block bordered by Spring Street, Fourth Street and West Peachtree Street and Amstead Place.
Society remains intolerant of challenging art. When you can’t install an abstract mural without a dust-up, as happened recently in Inman Park, it’s difficult to envision a really progressive, cutting-edge arts scene that questions cultural values on the necessary global scale.
Instead of challenging the system, we are decorating our failures. “Elevate,” at Underground Atlanta, seemed especially designed for the wrong intent. In this depressed economy, the Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs identified some money to promote the most seriously depressed real estate in the city, at the heart of downtown. Is the role artists are playing here window dressing for powerful real estate interests? Is this the role for the Office of Cultural Affairs? What truly transformative and urgent works have been part of “Art on the Beltline”?
This article really hits the nail on the head - read it!
Georgia Tech apparently has solidified plans for what it would like to see on the block — a High Performing Computing Center, which would take advantage of a major fiber optics trunk line that travels underneath West Peachtree Street.
Now there’s a growing concern that Georgia Tech has not given up its desire to demolish the entire building, with the possible exception of just keeping the architectural facade.
This building needs to be preserved. Its design is totally unique for Atlanta, and it provides a nice counterpoint to the shiny blandness of Tech Square. Luckily it sounds like there’s a lot of people rooting for it. The facade option isn’t the best, but it beats outright destruction.
"We’ve been in this location 15 years and helped this neighborhood grow. With any luck we will find another location and help that neighborhood, that corner, that location grow and thrive," Rafshoon added.
That’s the reassuring thing about this. Hopefully Outwrite can make the successful move to a new space and revitalize another little corner all over again. It’s not like they haven’t moved before. 10th and Piedmont won’t be the same, but then again that’s what cities do: change.