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Welcome to the NEW East Atlanta Historic District!

By Stephanie L. Cherry-Farmer
It’s official: on August 27, the East Atlanta Historic District was listed in the Georgia Register of Historic Places. The district includes residences, commercial buildings, and community landmarks such as churches and the former East Atlanta High School. The district is generally bounded by Interstate 20 to the north and east; Moreland Avenue to the west; and Edgemore Drive, Sargent Avenue, and Fayetteville Road, to the south.
In 2016, the East Atlanta Community Association (EACA) approved the documentation of the East Atlanta area as part of a greater effort to potentially formally nominate the neighborhood to the National Register of Historic Places. EACA, with the help of generous neighborhood sponsors, sponsored a class of students in Georgia State University’s graduate program in historic preservation, who, along with neighborhood volunteers, worked during 2017 and early 2018 to research the neighborhood’s history and development, and survey, photograph, and map the almost 4,000 buildings that comprise the district.
The final product of their efforts was approved by the Georgia National Register Review Board (an appointed board of historic preservation professionals that reviews all nominations to the state and national registers in Georgia) at its August hearing. The nomination now awaits finalization by staff at the Georgia State Historic Preservation Division. Once complete, it will be forwarded to the National Park Service for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The National Register of Historic Places is our country’s official list of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. Currently, more than 82,000 historic properties in Georgia are listed in the National Register. At this time, the Zuber-Jarrell House on Flat Shoals Avenue is East Atlanta’s only National Register-listed property. The National Register recognizes both individual properties and groups of properties that were related historically, which are known as historic districts. National Register-listed historic districts in East Atlanta’s immediate vicinity include Reynoldstown, Kirkwood, and Candler Park.
Listing East Atlanta as a historic district in the Georgia and National registers creates additional options and incentives for retention of the community’s historic character, without imposing any regulation on property treatment, transfer, or development, or restriction of property rights.
Properties listed in the National Register may qualify for specific benefits and incentives, including: state and federal investment tax credits; state and federal preservation grants for planning and rehabilitation; eligibility to donate preservation easements to nonprofit organizations; and county and local property tax abatements.
Most of these benefits are predicated on rehabilitation of a listed property. For example, now that East Atlanta is listed as a historic district in the Georgia Register, any property owner that is interested in rehabilitating any contributing historic property in the neighborhood, including single family residences as well as commercial and community landmark properties, can potentially qualify for a state tax credit equal to 25% of rehabilitation costs. Additionally, these projects can potentially qualify for county and city of Atlanta property tax assessment freezes. Once the district is listed in the National Register, an additional federal tax credit equal to 20% of rehabilitation costs is available. However, these programs are all optional; property owners can also still demolish the buildings in question or change their properties in any way, subject to no additional regulations or restrictions than exist today.
East Atlanta is a fantastically historic place. From its early development as a 19th-Century commercial crossroads, to its cul-de-sacs of 1960s ranch houses, East Atlanta conveys a rich past. Today, East Atlanta is a vibrant, diverse intown community with a unique, attractive character defined in large part by its historic buildings and streetscapes, and the visual interest, walkability, and amenities that are inherent to a historic urban neighborhood.
East Atlanta is attracting a lot of attention of late, and our neighborhood’s historic character is one of its primary assets. Listing in the Georgia and National Registers of Historic Places provides tools and increased options for preservation and revitalization of that character so that it can continue to help East Atlanta attract the city’s best neighbors. So spread the word: East Atlanta is hip AND historic, and we now have new opportunities to stay that way!
For additional information on this project, the Georgia and national registers, and historic preservation tax incentives, please feel free to contact your neighbor Stephanie L. Cherry-Farmer at
Congratulations East Atlanta on this historic honor, and thank you to everyone who continues to support this effort!

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