Saturday, February 9, 2013

De-Marbling the I.M. Pei on Ponce and baring St. Paul's Presbyterian

I hope you'll go see, go see this whole block before it's covered in modern apartments so familiar that we'll pay no attention.

They are buffing the block for apartments / mixed use. This week they started removing the marble panels from Gulf Oil Building, 131 Ponce de Leon, designed by I. M. Pei, built in 1949.

They've exposed the west side of St. Paul's Presbyterian. "Isn't that where The Abby was?"

"The project will incorporate the 'Pei' Building at the corner of Juniper and Ponce as its leasing center, making it 'the most dramatic element of the development' according to Branch." - Hunt Archbold, MidtownPatch, July 11, 2012 


On Facebook T-square Interns: "To us it looks like one of many similar buildings scattered around the country, most of them dilapidated and/or mold-infested-beyond-habitability. These buildings were obviously never designed for the long term. We say: let's take them off their respirators. They've had a good life; now it's time to let them go. They'll be better off in the end."

I don't know why they leave these signs up, guess that's another contractor's job.

These are the last intact panels.

There are coming out in pretty good shape. They'll have plenty left over.

They are using doors to block the 2nd floor holes. I love those practical construction folks.

The doors make an amusing band.

A last look at it's best side.


I don't have a picture of  the building next door to the east. It's gone too. I barely remember it as a deep red brick modern, a glass fronted office furniture store. It's been abandoned, boarded up and camped in nearly forever. I just don't remember much. You can see it in the map below.

Tearing it down exposed the west side of St. Paul's Presbyterian, 1915, one of our great church buildings on Ponce de Leon. It's one of three here that I know of by Charles H. Hopson (1865-1941) with Peachtree Christian Church and Rock Spring Presbyterian.

I'm worried about St. Paul's Presbyterian. It will be 100 in 2015. I hope we'll be celebrating.

It hosted several churches, then the Abbey Restaurant, now St. Paul's.

The roof looks fresh. Maintaining the details looks like a chore.

Did somebody heave a brick? What would this cost to fix this? Start by taking the whole window to the shop.

So many huge stained glass windows.

This is how downtown commuters see it on their way home going north on Piedmont. The brick block building with red-out windows doesn't help.

One of the best things about blogging is that it makes me look.

So go look.

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  1. Wonder what they are going to do with the marble? Is that big house to the east of the church the one SCAD refurbished? Or am I in the wrong area.

  2. I just looked at their rendering - So they are KEEPING the I.M. Pei building - just removing the marble to restore the building.

  3. That's SCAD's "Peters House, Ivy Hall." Looks like they are keeping about 1/3 of the facade, I'd bet they'll put the marble to good use.

  4. Is there anything that you could do to an I M Pei that wouldn'g be an improvement?

  5. I guess I've never much loved this building despite it being a Pei building.Still for preservation sake it is nice to see it incorporated into the new apartments. Now the Abbey or church next door is more to my liking. I haven't been in it in years but I remember the stained glass being beautiful.

  6. They're "dismantling" the entire I.M. Pei building and rebuilding it "similarly" in order to facilitate the structural needs for the rooftop swimming and amenity deck. The leasing office and other common space for the residents will be the future use of the building.

  7. Actually, it will be a facadectomy. Not a pretty sight; think Joan Rivers...

  8. The building is GONE. They demolished ALL of it! RIP, Gulf Oil/Pei.

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