Gaines Hall (Courtesy Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation)

An early morning fire has reportedly destroyed historic Gaines Hall on the original Morris Brown College campus at Atlanta University Center.

Built in 1869 and one of the city’s oldest structures, Gaines Hall had already sustained heavy damage in a 2015 fire. The remains of the building have collapsed, according to media reports.

Atlanta Fire crews have been battling the blaze since 7:30 a.m. this morning and have blocked a portion of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Currently owned by Clark Atlanta University, Gaines Hall was named one of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2017 Places in Peril.

There have been various plans to renovate the building but no work had started yet.

Atlanta Preservation Center executive director David Yoakley Mitchell said in a statement:

“The loss of Gaines Hall reinforces the stark reality that we have a national responsibility to not only preserve these significant structures – but, also protect the story of Atlanta now more than ever. This is tragic on multiple levels, and this should never have happened – but, happening twice is an insult to all of us. This is just simply bad on every level – and we must do better.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Collin KelleyEditor

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.