The Atlanta Preservation Center will present its 18th annual “Phoenix Flies: A Celebration of Atlanta’s Historic Sites” from March 6 through March 28.  However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event will be smaller and look a little different from previous celebrations.

For 2021 there will be a mix of in-person tours – mostly held outdoors and following CDC social distancing protocols, and virtual tours and presentations, both pre-recorded and live. Some partners will offer both an in-person and a virtual option. 

Part of the Atlanta History Center’s “Any Great Change” exhibit about the women’s suffrage movement, which will be part of the 2021 “Phoenix Flies” program. (File)

The three-week event celebrating Atlanta’s cultural and historic resources will showcase over 50 participating Preservation Partners offering close to 100 separate events, including guided walking tours of historic neighborhoods and districts, cemeteries, parks, gardens, and battlefields; lectures on history, historic preservation and rehabilitation, and photography; and open houses and tours at house museums, churches, history centers/libraries, and community landmarks. 

Featured in-person events this year include the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s new tour of the Goodrum House garden led by landscape architect Spencer Tunnell. Two events that debuted with the 2020 Phoenix Flies, but were cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, return and include the Atlanta History Center’s exhibit on women’s suffrage, and the Salvation Army’s Southern Historical Center at Evangeline Booth College.  

Pre-recorded virtual tour options include the Atlanta Daily World building on Auburn Avenue;  Peachtree Center Historic District in Downtown; St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Grant Park; the Summerhill, Blandtown, and Candler Park neighborhoods; Plaza Theatre in Poncey-Highland; the 1918 DeKalb County Courthouse; and several rehabilitation/adaptive use projects. 

Virtual lectures and presentations, a mix of live and pre-recorded events, include UGA’s Hargrett Library exhibit on convict labor in Georgia, the Rialto Center’s 100-year retrospective film, a history of Oglethorpe University, South Downtown’s history and current redevelopment, a forum on current preservation projects in the Atlanta metro region, old house maintenance tips, an overview of the Atlanta Studies Network, and historical overviews on U.S. currency and Civil War photography.

All events are free to the public, but reservations or registration are required for some events.  For more information, visit this link and see this year’s program here

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.