Last year, Morris Brown received $75,000 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which was used to create a team to work on how to restore the building. A 177-page study by the National Park Service estimated it will take at least $1.4 million to make Fountain Hall safe structurally before work on long-term preservation can begin.
Early estimates indicate it could take $30 million to restore the hall, which will be used for classrooms, said Julian Smith, co-chair the Fountain Hall committee. Smith said money for the restoration will come from grants and the school’s fundraising efforts.
Erected in 1882, Fountain Hall closed in 2003, a year after Morris Brown lost accreditation in 2002, according to the hall’s website. Up until 1929, the hall primarily functioned as an administrative building for the former Atlanta University.
The building has a four-sided clock atop it that once rang every hour. The structure contains offices, including that of author and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, a chapel art studio and gallery, according to its new website.
The hall became a National Historic Landmark in 1975. In 2010, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation placed the historic building on its Places in Peril list of the state’s top 10 endangered places.
— Staff writer Ernie Suggs contributed to this report.