“Many have called the Atlanta Eagle home over the last three decades,” Ramey said in a statement late last week. “I am grateful to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the city of Atlanta for ensuring that many more can call it home in the years to come.”
In a statement announcing the landmark designation, the city said the Eagle has been “an integral part of Atlanta’s cultural and social landscape, including its role in helping to create beneficial policy changes and cultural improvements between the LGBTQ community and city of Atlanta.”
In 2009, Atlanta police raided the club, claiming to have previously seen sexual activity occurring. Eight patrons were arrested for code violations, but no one was arrested on charges of sexual activity when the raid happened. After a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations at the hands of law enforcement, the city ended up paying more than $1 million to settle the dispute in 2013. APD also instituted reforms aimed at improving the department’s relationship with the LGBTQ community.
“Businesses are feeling the devastating effects of COVID-19 this year, including LGBTQ-owned small businesses,” Bottoms said in a statement. “This has led to LGBTQ-owned businesses around the country closing their doors. The Atlanta Eagle has a rich history and is a beloved place for so many people in Atlanta and across the world.”
The city is beginning the process of designating the building as a landmark site. Once approved, the property cannot be demolished or have changes made to its exterior without written approval from the Urban Design Commission.
The club, as well as the Kodak building next door, were on the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of 10 Places in Peril just last month. The annual list aims to raise awareness for historic spots around the state that are at risk of demolition or inappropriate development.