The owners of the Randolph Lucas House are moving forward with a request for a permit to demolish the historic home, but a local zoning review official says it’s all part of a plan to save it.
The 2500 Peachtree Condominiums Association, the owner of the home, has filed an application with the Atlanta Urban Design Commission. The owners want to remove the two-story house and replace it with an open air pavilion, according to the application and Wright Mitchell, President of Buckhead Heritage Society.
Hakim Hilliard, the former attorney for the condo association, said the condo association applied to the Urban Design Commission after the city initially denied an application for a demolition permit.
The commission will review and comment on the application on Oct. 10.
“The association has been more than accommodating and continue to welcome other options,” Hilliard said. “To date, unfortunately, none have been presented.”
Steve Labovitz, who is now the lead attorney on the case, said commission will review and comment but will not approve or deny a permit. The condo association is trying to appeal the city’s earlier decision.
He said the group still is willing to work with any groups interested in saving the home.
“We are absolutely willing to work with them, if they can find the people interested in doing that,” he said.
Sally Silver, chairwoman of Buckhead’s Neighborhood Planning Unit B, said the condo association would need the demolition permit to move the house. Silver said she is working groups interested in preserving the home, but said there will be no formal announcements until all of the details are finalized.
“The condo association is in no way shape or form threatening to tear down the building,” Silver said.
The Randolph-Lucas House, a mansion located at 2494 Peachtree Road, is part of the Peachtree Heights Park District, a nationally recognized historic site. Hollins Nichols Randolph, a prominent Atlanta attorney, built the red brick residence in 1924. The 2500 Peachtree Condominiums Association, the current owner of the house, hired an engineering firm who found the house isn’t structurally sound.
When the original developer built the condominiums in 1997, one of the stipulations of the permit was moving the house 35 feet forward from its foundation and to renovate it. After the developer finished the project the condo market tanked and the developer only sold 50 percent of the units. The bank foreclosed on the property.
The home has sat virtually untouched since the development of the condos. The association, citing the condition of the structure and cost of repairs, began exploring the demolition permit, prompting a backlash from historians and Neighborhood Planning Unit B members.