By Collin Kelley

The Atlanta Preservation Center is making history of its own this month with the Decennial Phoenix Flies: A City-Wide Celebration of Living Landmarks from March 9-24.

This unique celebration of Atlanta’s historic assets will present more than 200 free events in 16 days. These events include walking tours, guided tours, bicycle tours, performances and exhibits at more than 80 sites significant to Atlanta’s historic and cultural fabric.

APC’s Carolyn McLaughlin said there are 13 new preservation partners and an opportunity to showcase landmarks like Downtown’s Healey Building, which is marking its 100th anniversary, and the Cyclorama in Grant Park, which is deteriorating and facing an uncertain future.

“We’re amazed that we’ve reached 204 events and 70 partners,” McLaughlin said. “This is going to be our biggest Phoenix Flies yet.”

Some other highlights of this year’s tours include the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts and Balzer Theatre, which was formerly Herren’s restaurant (the first to desegregate in 1962) and now home to Theatrical Outfit. The in-progress Ponce City Market will offer more tours and there will be a bike tour along the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail from Inman Park to Piedmont Park.

Also to mark the 10th anniversary, the APC is introducing official tours of its home, the LP Grant Mansion, and has commissioned a major photography project. Once considered Atlanta’s most endangered historic building, the circa-1856 mansion was purchased by APC in 2001 and has undergone extensive stabilization and reconstruction. The mansion’s Drawing Room Gallery will host an exhibition for the Phoenix Flies Anniversary Photography Project. For this project, eight Atlanta fine art photographers have made images of the sites presented during Phoenix Flies.

Notable 10 year partners include the Atlanta History Center, the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Historic Oakland Foundation and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. New partners for the decennial include Atlanta International School, Black Mecca of the South Tours, Bass Lofts and River Line Historic Area.

APC created Phoenix Flies to commemorate the 25th anniversary of saving the Fox Theatre, an event that started the preservation movement in Atlanta. During its history the event has presented upwards of 775 events and provided more that 15,000 free opportunities for individuals to experience Atlanta’s rich history.

For a complete program of events, visit