National Park Service seeks comment on Sweet Auburn preservation

National Park Service seeks public comment in large-scale review of Sweet Auburn National Historic Landmark District. The agency report identifies the current condition and key threats to the district’s long-term preservation.These buildings are on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn Historic District. NPS Photograph by Jody Cook

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National Park Service seeks public comment in large-scale review of Sweet Auburn National Historic Landmark District. The agency report identifies the current condition and key threats to the district’s long-term preservation.These buildings are on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn Historic District. NPS Photograph by Jody Cook

The National Park Service will take online public comment on preservation of Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn National Historic Landmark District through Oct. 28.

The agency held public meetings in September as part of its effort to assess how well the historic integrity and condition of the district has been preserved to date.

The meetings centered on a report NPS contracted New South Associates Inc. to produce that will enable NPS to measure the preservation health of the district, identify threats to its long-term sustainability as an NHL, and assign it a condition category of Satisfactory, Watch, Threatened or Emergency.

Stakeholders and community members engaged early in the New South Associates study process cited concerns and issues that could negatively impact future efforts to preserve the district, including gentrification, the need for a coordinated vision, a general lack of appreciation for the district, inadequate civic engagement in the city’s design review process, insufficient funding to support stabilization and complementary development, increasing property tax rates, and the inability to influence development by Georgia State University in the district since it is a state entity and not subject to local ordinances. Respondents were encouraged by positive developments, such as the emergence of advocacy groups, adaptive reuse of the Atlanta Daily World building, establishment of the Eastside Tax Allocation District, the new streetcar and the increased customer base spurred on by the presence of Georgia State University students and employees.

NPS will consider public comments on the draft Sweet Auburn NHL District Integrity and Condition Assessment prior to making a final determination about the district’s condition category and issuing the final report next summer.

The public can learn more about the Sweet Auburn National Historic Landmark District Integrity and Condition Assessment by visiting https://parkplanning.nps.gov/sweetauburn.

Public comments can be submitted online through Oct. 28 at parkplanning.nps.gov/sweetauburn.