Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trying to Save the Crum & Forster

My grandfather, Lewis "Buck" Crook, was a prominent architect. He and his partner, Ernest "Ed" Ivey, comprised the firm of Ivey & Crook, responsible for almost 600 commissions over the course of 43 years, most of which were built in and around the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

One of them, the Crum & Forster building, a midtown landmark at 771 Spring Street since 1927, is in imminent danger of being torn down. Ironically, the demolition is being proposed by Georgia Tech, who purchased the property in December of 2007, apparently with the intent to demolish it and expand the development of their Technology Square.

Georgia Tech is the alma mater of both my grandfather and his partner, Ed Ivey, who helped found the school of architecture there one hundred years ago this year. Through their works, they made a substantial contribution to the esteemed academic reputation Georgia Tech enjoys today.

Rather than destroy it, Georgia Tech has an opportunity to celebrate the work of Ivey & Crook, just as world-renowned architect John Portman, another Tech graduate, did when he expanded Emory University's student center in the 1980's. Ivey & Crook designed and built the original dining hall at Emory. Portman could've torn it down, but instead he chose to incorporate it into his own vision for the Dobbs University Center.

Georgia Tech has every reason to do the same for Technology Square!

An online petition to save the Crum & Forster has been created. Please add your name.

The building has an official blog. More pictures and info can be found here, here, and here.