Conserving the Past

The Atlanta Architectural Conservation Society has emerged to celebrate and stand for the “thoughtful renovation of Atlanta’s old homes” with architects, contractors, interior designers and historic preservationists involved, says founder and designer Brittany Forsling. Some people turned to the society’s Instagram feed (@atlantaconservationsociety) to react after the historic Whispering Pines mansion on West Paces Ferry Road was torn down. Forsling discussed historic homes and the society, which is becoming a 501(c)(3). 

Q: What are your concerns about protections for historic homes in Atlanta? 

A: My main concern is the lack of protections in place. It’s mind-boggling that the Buckhead area and many others have zero legislation regarding the protection of older homes. On the flip side, I’ve witnessed firsthand how protections can make well-meaning renovations difficult beyond necessity. We’d like to establish a middle ground that encourages, instead of inhibits, saving these homes.

Q: Can you describe the society and who is involved?

A: The society was created to bring like-minded people together to connect over our love of historical architecture, to educate and encourage those who wish to take on the challenges of renovations, and provide resources that make those renovations not so painful. We are working on establishing a fund to purchase these homes ourselves should a developer be the only offer the homeowner receives.

Q: What could the reaction to Whispering Pines mean for the future of historic homes in Atlanta? 

A: While incredibly sad and a loss we will feel forever, good can come from it. The citizens of Atlanta can use this as an opportunity to save the city from further destruction. We hope to have a heavy hand in that.