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The Atlanta Preservation Center (APC) will present its annual “Phoenix Flies: A Celebration of Atlanta’s Historic Sites” March 2 – 24. The three-week-long festival celebrating Atlanta’s cultural and historical resources will showcase more than 100 sites and offer more than 200 events, including guided walking tours, lectures, storytelling, open houses and more. And it’s all free.

Some of the new partners for this year’s event include Atlanta Legal Aid located in the old Elks Club building in Downtown, Atomic Films/Pratt-Pullman Yards, Hotel Clermont, the Met/Candler Cotton Warehouses and Plaza Theatre.

A highlight this year will be new tours of in-process or recently completed high profile rehabilitation projects, including a lecture and tour of the Pratt-Pullman Yards in Kirkwood, now owned by Atomic Films; the Newport development tour of South Downtown; the Met/Candler Warehouses tour; and a guided tour through the re-opened Hotel Clermont.

Hotel Clermont

Other interesting rehabilitation projects showcased for the first time include two former church buildings that have been adapted into new uses. The Imperial Opa Circus/Atlanta Circus School is housed in the 1924 Grant Park Methodist Episcopal Church South and will offer an open house. The Kronberg Wall architectural firm is located in the 1922 Bearden Temple AME Church in Reynoldstown and will offer a lecture and tour. Atlanta Legal Aid, headquartered in the old 1912 Elks Club Building on Ellis Street, will offer a tour of the building and a photo exhibit.

There also will be a series of lectures at the APC that will focus specifically on historic preservation, including architectural historians Dr. Richard Cloues with a lecture on the American Small House and Dr. Robert Craig with a discussion on the differing preservation philosophies of Violette Le-Duc and John Ruskin.

The Atlanta Regional Commission, the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, and the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia DNR will present their second annual historic preservation forum, where participants will learn about recent and upcoming preservation issues and projects in metro Atlanta. Finally, local Architecture Tourist Terry Kearns will return with a new sidekick – ATLmaps – to provide his view on how to grow the preservation community.

Pullman Yard

The University of Georgia’s Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library will offer its “First Date with History” workshop at the Atlanta Preservation Center for the first time. Participants at this workshop will hold history in their hands as they explore a grouping of historic materials and discover the story that they tell.

Tours of the Apex Museum, the Municipal Market at Sweet Auburn, Sweet Auburn Works, the Atlanta Daily World, and Constellations, as well as tours offered by Civil Bikes return to illustrate the history the city’s African American heritage and the revitalization occurring in the Sweet Auburn Historic District/Old Fourth Ward.

Representing the Westside will be events at the English Avenue School, Herndon Home, Hammond House, Wren’s Nest, Castleberry Hill, and Whittier Mill Village. A new tour along revitalized Georgia Avenue in the Summerhill area, led by Carter USA, will focus on the redevelopment around the former Turner Field area. Tours of Balzer Theatre, Healey Building, and The Rialto Theatre return to offer visitors a view of the revitalized Fairlie-Poplar Historic District.

Plaza Theatre

Several events celebrate the arts, which historically have contributed so much to Atlanta’s culture, including a lecture on the history of new partner Atlanta Opera, a lecture and tour at the Atlanta Ballet, a lecture on a Roman marble sculpture at the Carlos Museum, tours at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Millennium Gate Museum, and an open house at Cherry Lion Studios.

Returning popular events include tours at historic Oakland, Southview, Sylvester, and Westview cemeteries, along with numerous churches and houses of worship. The Fox Theatre also returns this year, along with the Piedmont Driving Club and the Atlanta Woman’s Club. The Atlanta Preservation Center will again offer its open house, and tours of Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods.

All events are free to the public, but reservations are required for some events. Visit preserveatlanta.com for information.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.