GPB: Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville Resort Could Erase Atlanta Music Site

On Thursday, an Atlanta zoning board delayed a vote to allow the preservation of two historic buildings in downtown Atlanta.

One of them is where country music’s first major hit record, Fiddlin’ John Carson’s “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” was recorded for OKeh Records in 1923.

Perhaps ironically, it’s developers of musician Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Resort who want to raze the structure. That’s despite Buffett’s significant Atlanta roots — his first live album was recorded at the Fox Theater. Atlanta is where Buffett fans founded the first Parrot Head club.

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Atlanta Loop: Margaritaville Restaurant and Resort Threatens Birthplace of Country Music

152 Nassau Street is the rightmost of the three center buildings. Image via Google Maps.

As Atlanta’s new developments take priority over its historic places, frustrations for city’s preservationists pop up almost daily. However, one particular plan has them fuming.

Plans for a two-story Margaritaville-branded restaurant and adjacent 21-story vacation club resort will demolish a small brick building at 152 Nassau Street, according to a change.org petition started by local architect and preservationist with advocacy group Historic Atlanta Kyle Kessler. The problem is that building is widely considered to be the birthplace of country music.

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Creative Loafing: The little old brick building on Nassau Street

About to be evicted: Fiddlin’ John Carson stands outside his home in Cabbagetown in 1914 during the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill Strike.

Country music’s first hit record was made in an unassuming office building in Downtown Atlanta, but proposed construction for a new Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville location could erase this bit of history forever.

The building, located at 152 Nassau St., currently houses a law firm but was once the location of a temporary recording studio set up by New York-based Okeh Records executive Ralph Peer. Plans for the development of a Downtown home for the Margaritaville restaurant chain, which boasts more than 30 outposts in the U.S. and abroad, were unveiled summer 2016. In response, Atlanta planning commissioner Tim Keane announced in May 2017 that the building and another structure on Walton were being nominated for historic designation to protect them from the threat of demolition by the proposed Margaritaville construction. The developer’s attorney contested the nomination which put it on hold. A demolition permit application was recently filed with the City of Atlanta associated with the construction of a Margaritaville restaurant and hotel.

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WSBTV: ‘Birthplace of country music’ to be torn down to make way for Margaritaville

ATLANTA – In downtown Atlanta, where so many things are new, a piece of history remains. Now, one group fears it may soon be gone, too.

The building at 152 Nassau St. is known to some as the birthplace of country music. It could soon be torn down to make way for a Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville.

“This is where the first commercially successful country album was ever recorded,” said Kyle Kessler, whose preservation group, Historic Atlanta, is fighting to save the building.

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Eater Atlanta: Parrot Heads Will Soon Waste Away at Margaritaville in Downtown Atlanta


Proposed urban resort includes a 14,000-square-foot restaurant, but takes out two historic properties

Demolition permits for two nearly century-old buildings — 141 Walton Street and 152 Nassau Street — were filed with the city to begin moving forward on building the Wyndham Destinations and Margaritaville Vacation Club overlooking Centennial Olympic Park and Skyview Ferris Wheel, Atlanta Business Chronicle (ABC) reports. Because, what downtown Atlanta really needs is a 22-story Margaritaville resort hotel and Jimmy Buffet theme restaurant to replace similar (failed) celebrity-driven concepts like Planet Hollywood.

keep reading at Eater Atlanta

AP: Atlanta building steeped in music history faces demolition

ATLANTA (AP) — At the edge of downtown Atlanta’s historic core, a nondescript brick building holds a little-known 94-year-old tie to music history — it’s the spot where a song that many deem the first country hit was recorded.

But that physical vestige of Fiddlin’ John Carson may be in jeopardy because a developer wants to raze it and build a restaurant linked to a more modern Southern musician: Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.

Now, the city is trying to preserve the place where a groundbreaking recording engineer and talent scout captured the sound of a rough-hewn Georgia mountain fiddler on the cusp of summer in 1923.

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WABE: First Country Music Hit Traced Back To Atlanta Building

The city of Atlanta wants to give landmark status to an old downtown building with a little-known claim to fame.

With both Centennial Olympic Park and the SkyView Ferris Wheel next door, it’s unlikely the structure at the end of Nassau street would catch your attention.

“It’s a fairly nondescript, 1920s brick building, two stories,” said Kyle Kessler, standing in front of 152 Nassau Street.

keep reading at WABE

Saporta Report: City of Atlanta moves to protect three historic buildings

The City of Atlanta is designating three historic buildings to be protected from demolition, according to Tim Keane, the city’s planning commissioner.

Keane made the announcement Thursday evening at the Atlanta Urban Design Commission’s  40th annual Awards of Excellence.

Two of the three buildings are 141 Walton St. and 152 Nassau St. in the Fairlie-Poplar district, and the company interested in developing a Margaritaville restaurant and bar has wanted to demolish those two buildings – at least in part.

keep reading at Saporta Report