Q: Are you a protesting kind of guy?
A: This was the first time. A friend asked me if I had gotten a permit for our demonstration. I called someone at the police department to see if we needed one but they never called back. I decided that implied consent.
Q: You were up against some pretty heavy hitters, weren’t you?
A: The business community was in favor of the sale. So were two commissioners. The one who changed his opinion and opposed the sale was John Eaves, the chairman. I have great support for him. My father used to say, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” which is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Q: Who opposed the sale?
A: The Northside Library Association. The architectural community, particularly younger architects. The most important group were the people who use the library. Without the public comments, the protests, the e-mails, the letters and phone calls to commissioners, the sale would have gone through.
Q: What about the developer’s offer to build an exact replica of the library nearby?
A: It was absurd. The library’s design is very site specific. It is on the highest point in Buckhead on a ridgeline with a view of the city through the windows.
Q: What do you think would have happened had the sale been approved?
A: It is very possible we could have had a hole in the ground in Buckhead and lost what I consider to be an architectural masterpiece. The British almost tore down the Taj Mahal to use the marble for paving stone. I really felt like the sale was ill-conceived from the beginning.
Q: Has your mother roped you into your next cause?
A: I am like the Roman Cincinnatus. Now that my work is done, I’ve gone back to my farm.
The Sunday conversation is edited for length and clarity. Writer Ann Hardie can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.