But he had second thoughts and went to court himself. “Another entity, me, decided to take action,” he said Monday. “I started advocating for the preservation of these buildings because I think they are worth saving, and there is still a real chance of doing so.”
On Friday, Kessler obtained a temporary restraining order from Fulton County Superior Court Judge Paige Reese Whitaker, who wrote in her opinion that further judicial review was warranted. A hearing on the case is scheduled for Friday before Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams.
The city subsequently ordered work to stop on both 152 Nassau Street and 141 Walton Street, which Kessler argues are both historic and supported for landmark building designation by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.
The site’s historical bona fides rest with its use by Cabbagetown resident Fiddlin’ John Carson, who recorded two songs there in 1923. The tunes would become the first hits in the genre now known as country music: “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” and “The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster’s Going to Crow.”
The studio was also used to record artists from other genres, including blues singer and pianist Fannie May Goosby and the Morehouse College Quartet.
Ironically, the demolition is taking place because developers want to locate a 21-story hotel, timeshare and restaurant there inspired by another musician. That project would be a "Margaritaville"-themed project, taking its name from the 1977 hit song by Jimmy Buffett.
Michael Smith, a spokesman for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, declined comment. “We do not find it appropriate to comment on pending litigation.”