The historic Ponce Condos are on this year’s Phoenix Flies tour. (Photos courtesy Atlanta Preservation Center)

As the Atlanta Preservation Center (APC) celebrate its 40th anniversary, it also will present the 17th annual award-winning Phoenix Flies: A Celebration of Atlanta’s Historic Sites March 7 – 29. The three-week festival celebrating Atlanta’s cultural and historical resources will showcase 100 sites offering more than 200 events, including guided walking tours, lectures, storytelling, open houses and more. All the events are open to the public and completely free of charge.
Healey Building

Highlights this year include new partner tours at the Pitts Theology Library at Emory University and the Salvation Army Southern Historical Center.  The Pitts Theology Library, which is internationally renowned for its rare book and archival collections, will feature its current exhibition “Thy Kingdom Come: American Evangelicalism from George Whitefield to Contemporary Politics,” with refreshments included.  The Southern Historical Center museum, which serves as the official historical repository for the Salvation Army in the Southeast, will include the museum, campus history and buildings in its tour.
The Little 5 Points Alliance will join Phoenix Flies for the first time this year, featuring the legacy of this historic and unique commercial Intown area, through both a one-time only guided tour with refreshments and an ongoing self-guided tour.
Another new partner, Atlanta Hospital Hospitality House, will showcase the 1926 Cator Woolford mansion and its surrounding 33 acres of gardens and forest, located in Druid Hills. The home now serves out-of-town guests who come to Atlanta for medical purposes.
Westview Cemetery

African-American history and heritage will be showcased through tours at the Municipal Market, Sweet Auburn Works, the Atlanta Daily World, and the Constellations building in the Sweet Auburn/Martin Luther King, Jr. historic district; new partner the Atlanta Voice in the Mechanicsville neighborhood; the Herndon Home and new partner Historic St. Mark on Atlanta’s west side; and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District’s Civil Rights Tour in the Woodruff Park area. A tour along revitalized Georgia Avenue in the Summerhill area, led by Carter USA, will focus on the next chapter of this part of Atlanta.
Tours of the Balzer Theatre, the Healey Building, and the Rialto Theatre return to offer visitors a view of the revitalized Fairlie-Poplar Historic District, while a few blocks south the U.S. General Services Administration returns to offer a tour of the MLK, Jr. Federal Building, designed by A. Ten Eyck Brown in 1933.
Phoenix Flies will also celebrate the arts with a lecture on the history of the Atlanta Opera, a lecture and tour at the Atlanta Ballet, a lecture on a Tibetan painting at the Carlos Museum, and a tour of the Millennium Gate Museum in Atlantic Station.
Oakland Cemetery

Lectures at the APC’s headquarters in the 1856 Grant Mansion) range in topic from history, architecture, and historic preservation to rehabilitation projects, old house inspection issues, and digital research and resources.
Other returning popular events include tours at historic Oakland, Southview, Westview and Utoy cemeteries, along with 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 residential neighborhoods, Downtown, Midtown, the Ponce de Leon corridor and the Georgia Tech area.
All events are free to the public, but reservations or registration are required for some events. For more information or details about reservations, visit
City Hall

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.