Apartment developer John A. Williams has one great regret in his career —- demolishing the block known as Pershing Point on the northern edge of Midtown.
Up until the mid-1980s, Pershing Point was one of the most vibrant communities in Atlanta with 300 apartments in a half-dozen historic buildings with street-level grocery stores, a pharmacy, retail shops, restaurants and bars. They all sat on a compact, triangular block bounded by Peachtree and West Peachtree where the headquarters of National Service Industries is now located.
“Bohemia central: Pershing Point Hotel gave gays, others a place to fully express themselves” (2006)
As Leslie Jordan’s mama pulled up to the Pershing Point Hotel in 1974 to see her teenage son’s new Atlanta home, she had a visitor’s common reaction.
A devout Southern Baptist “with the perfect flip hairdo,” his mother took one look at the dilapidated structure and the odd assortment of characters loitering out front, promptly locked her doors and gunned the engine.
“My mother would not get out of the car,” the diminutive actor, now 51, recalls, laughing.