Glenridge Hall
Glenridge Hall

The executive director of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation calls it “extremely disappointing” that owners of Glenridge Hall were issued a demolition permit for the historic mansion.
Mark McDonald said the house should be saved for its historic and architectural value. “The house is an extensive work of architecture and is situated on beautiful setting, representing an era of Atlanta growth and prosperity in the early 20th century,” he said.

Sandy Springs city officials issued the permit on March 9.

McDonald said the Georgia Trust in October placed Glenridge Hall on its list of “10 Places in Peril” after an announcement that the property was for sale and “we felt like we had exhausted our efforts” with the owners.

Ashton Woods Homes contracted to buy the property, which sits off Glenridge Drive and is divided by Abernathy Road. Mercedes Benz has announced it would relocate its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to a tract to the south of Abernathy.

The Tudor Revival estate was built in 1929 on 400 acres of farmland by Thomas K. Glenn, a pillar of the Atlanta business community. In the 1980s, Glenn’s granddaughter, Frances Mayson, fought to preserve the property, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Mayson and her husband restored the home with the purpose of it being available to the public, and the home has been host to numerous charity functions and retreats through the years.

The home and grounds have also been used in movies like “Driving Miss Daisy” and the TV show “The Vampire Diaries.”

The home is known to represent Atlanta wealth. After the Civil War, it took about 20 years for the then-rural Sandy Springs to come back to pre-war agricultural prices.

Wealthy Atlantans began to use Sandy Springs as a get-away location, as it was still fairly difficult to reach from the city of Atlanta. Families began building mansions as showcases, with Glenridge Hall being the remaining one in Sandy Springs.

While its placement on the National Register doesn’t protect the property from demolition, McDonald said that conservation easements and other tax incentives could work as an incentive to save the property.

He suggested that the building could continue to host special events while the land around it was developed.

McDonald said he maintains a little hope that the building could be saved.

“I never doubt that people can have conversions at the last minute,” he said.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

15 replies on “Preservationist: Glenridge Hall demolition plan ‘extremely disappointing’”

  1. Every community deserves three things: A past, a present, and a future. This part of Atlanta’s past is way too valuable to lose due to the greed, inertia, and shortsightedness of a few.–Tom Reilly, National Wildlife Federation

    1. I so agree about the loss of this beautiful building. It seems in Sandy Springs the “greed factor” is the ONLY motivation for doing anything in the area, to the detriment of the beauty of the area. So sad.

  2. I’m on the board of a nonprofit that hosted a charity event at Glenridge Hall. It’s a beautiful place that deserves to be shared with future generations. I wish the city would get involved in trying to save it. Surely there is some developer who could incorporate it into a new planned space.

  3. Sadly, the City of Sandy Springs is not what we longtime residents thought it would be. Those now in power care absolutely nothing for what happened before “they” arrived. Nothing of the “old” community can be retained, in their LITTLE opinions. It doesn’t suit their agenda or their pockets. They are bound and determined to wipe out every trace of Sandy Springs’ history. It’s too bad that there’s nothing and no one who can stop them.

    Heritage Sandy Springs should be re-named to more appropriately reflect their lack of interest and commitment in preserving the history of the community. It’s pretty obvious to whom they are catering.

    The loss of Glenridge Hall is an abomination.

    I for one am grateful that I can say I am now a former resident of this city. No more of my hard-earned money for Sandy Springs OR Fulton County!

  4. Glenridge Hall is a unique treasure. Those of us who were lucky enough to visit Glenridge felt the glamour and tradition there and came away feeling a little more grand.

    1. I am in possession of an actual copy of the Residential Demolition permit: Application Number 201500615, issue date 03/09/2015, expiration date 09/05/2015. Contractor: Southern Environmental Services, Inc., 1059 Triad Court, Suite 12, Marietta, Georgia 30062, 770-933-0005, Tom Wasson, Larry Watts. Owner: The Caroline Glenn Mayson Trust #2, P. O. Box 76656, Sandy Springs, Georgia 30358, 770-394-0261. Proposed Date of Demolition 04/01/2015.–Tom Reilly, National Wildlife Federation

    2. JB, it is not a developer that is tearing it down. It is Caroline Mayson, the daughter of Frances Mayson, the aforementioned heroine in the house’s restoration, who is serving as the villain as this story plays out. The decision to dismantle the home is hers.

  5. I grew up in Sandy Springs not far from the Chastain Amphitheater and knew the Glenn family in the 1960s through Sandy Springs High School. This is the most significant historic structure in Sandy Springs. It is an important structure for its educational value in early 20th century architecture, business, and a part of our culture. Its loss is beyond measure. It is unfortunate that a grass roots effort could not have risen to its salvation.

  6. Imagine Rome without it’s grand colosseum and cathedrals, Egypt without it’s pyramids, or Mexico without it’s Aztec ruins. America’s history is still in it’s youthful stages and so much of it has already been lost due to the neglect and greed of man. We are tearing down our history brick by brick. We are losing the roots to our past. We need to preserve and save what little we have left before it’s gone

  7. The potential demolition of Glenridge Hall is shameful. The leadership of Sandy Springs should have the vision to preserve this home for the community. Of course, no doubt money is behind the decision. Why preserve an old building when property tax revenue could be increased by building houses packed together cheek-by-jowl, or by building a fifty-storey office tower on the property such as the one proposed for the intersection of Peachtree Dunwoody and Abernathy Roads? When money talks, historic preservation usually walks.

Comments are closed.