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Earlier this month plans to construct a new visitor’s center at the Oakland Cemetery were submitted to the City of Atlanta. Neale Nickels submitted a special administrative permit application for the project to move forward.
According to submitted documents, the new Oakland Cemetery Visitor’s Center, designed by Smith-Dalia Architects and located at 374 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, will provide an outside-the-gates presence for the Historic Oakland Foundation in keeping with SPI-22’s intent to “enhance and protect Oakland Cemetery as a historic and cultural resource.”
The new two-story, steel-framed building with brick veneer was designed as an entry piece to Oakland Cemetery and a termination of the future Memorial Drive Greenway project to “maximize opportunities for sufficient, safe and accessible pedestrian amenities including parks plazas, greenways and public art for active and passive enjoyment.”
The project involves a new Visitor’s Center outside the west / old Hunter Street Gate of Historic Oakland Cemetery to serve the foundation’s educational and community outreach functions. The site is bounded by Biggers Street to the north, Oakland Ave to the east, MLK Drive to the south, and Grant Street to the west.
The anticipated uses of the new visitor’s 10,000 square-foot center include:
- Retail Space: 1,000 square feet for a new Visitors Center and Gift Shop, including retail office and storage
- Common Area Space: 3,000 square feet to include student classrooms, a large conference room, restrooms, a breakroom, a small warehouse, and janitorial space
- Event Space: 3,000 square feet with a catering kitchen
- Office Space: 3,000 square feet for staff, along with conference rooms and meeting space