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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Thursday announced the City of Atlanta’s Department of City Planning’s Historic Preservation Studio and the Urban Design Commission have begun the designation of the Atlanta Eagle building as a “Landmark Building/Site,” at 306 Ponce De Leon Ave NE. Atlanta Eagle announced in November it had closed its doors for good and would open elsewhere in 2021. Now, with the new designation, Owner Richard Ramey intends on keeping Atlanta Eagle put, a city official confirmed with What Now Atlanta.
“Many have called the Atlanta Eagle home over the last three decades,” Ramey said in a press release. “I am grateful to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the City of Atlanta for ensuring that many more can call it home in the years to come.”
The bar is also one of the Southeast’s most famous LGBTQ social establishments and has hosted drag performers like Ru Paul and Lady Bunny that promote LGBTQ equality and HIV/AIDS education. By applying this Landmark Building/Site designation, the property cannot be demolished or have changes made to the exterior without written approval from the Urban Design Commission. This designation will ensure the iconic Midtown bar remains a cultural and historic LGBTQ fixture in Atlanta.
“Businesses are feeling the devastating effects of COVID-19 this year, including LGBTQ-owned small businesses,” Mayor Bottoms said. “This has led to LGBTQ-owned businesses around the country closing their doors. The Atlanta Eagle has a rich history and is a beloved place for so many people in Atlanta and across the world.”
In 2009, the Atlanta Police Department (APD) raided the Atlanta Eagle. “Using this moment as a catalyst for change, APD quickly appointed LGBTQ community liaisons, updated their trainings and standard operating procedures with LGBTQ constituents, and enhanced overall engagement with the LGBTQ community,” according to the release.
[Editor’s note: this article was updated with confirmation that Atlanta Eagle will reopen in its current home in 2021.]