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Atlanta History Center, home to Atlanta’s oldest surviving farmhouse and the outbuildings which make up the Smith Farm, are seeking an Atlanta Historic Landmark Designation for the site. The designation would be the first time Atlanta has expanded the definition of a Historic Landmark to include more than just a single building, according to the Saporta Report.
The Smith Farm is already on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, however Doug Young, director of the City’s Historic Preservation Studio said in a presentation to the Urban Design Commission that “what makes this property unique is both the history of the buildings themselves and the fact that it’s acquired its own significance since the buildings have been moved and assembled on the site. ” The Smith Farm was moved to The Atlanta History Center in 1969, where it sits on the grounds of the Swan House.
Between the Swan House, which was home to Cotton fortune heirs Edward and Emily Inman from 1928 to 1966, and the Smith Farm, which accurately depicts a working slaveholding farm from the Atlanta area in the mid 1800’s, the complex is a significant educational resource for the history of Atlanta. The farm includes accurate varieties of crops in the fields, a kitchen garden, an enslaved people’s garden, and a number of outbuildings including a barn, a dairy, a corn crib and a smoke house. Surrounding the farm’s outbuildings are native landscape and animal enclosures with heritage-breed sheep, goats, chickens, and turkeys.
The application for Historic Landmark Designation was approved by the Urban Design Commission in August, and is now heading to the Zoning Review Board in November. The ZRB will determine if the site will be rezoned from R-3 (Single Family Residential) to R-3/LBS (Single Family Residential/Landmark Building/Site. If approved, the Atlanta City Council will ultimately be responsible for approving the final designation.