Son of Galloway School’s founder fights demolition plans for historic building

The son of the man who founded The Galloway School in Buckhead is speaking out against plans to demolish a historic building on campus.

Charlie Galloway taught at The Galloway School in the 1980s and is the son of Elliott Galloway, who founded the private school in 1969.

The school recently announced plans to replace the Gresham Building with a much bigger classroom building.

Built in 1911, the Gresham Building is on the National Register of Historic Places. For decades it served as an almshouse, or homeless shelter.

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“The Gresham Building in my humble opinion is the heart and soul of The Galloway School,” Galloway said from his home in California. “It has created a very warm and nurturing atmosphere for learning.”

School officials have not spoken publicly about the proposal. One administrator, who asked to remain anonymous, told Channel 2′s Bryan Mims that the school is in the middle of the permitting process with the city of Atlanta.

She said the school aims to “provide the best and safest learning environment.”

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“We are working with architects, engineers and historic preservationists to explore those opportunities,” the administrator told Channel 2 Action News.

Drawings on the school’s website show a modern classroom building standing in place of the Gresham Building.

A description on the website says: “The design of the new Upper Learning Building will pay homage to the iconic Gresham building by incorporating elements of the original building into the design of the new building.”

Opponents of the demolition have circulated a petition that has gathered more than 1,000 signatures. Bruce Johnson is a 1976 graduate of the school and lives in the neighborhood. “It’s part of our community’s history,” he said. “Once this building is gone, it can never be recovered. And we’ve lost so many of our heritage buildings in this city.”

A meeting was set for Tuesday night with Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit to address permits for the project, but it was postponed until March. It’s unclear why.

The school administrator told Channel 2 Action News that school officials would have more to say about the project later.

Galloway said the school can still expand classroom capacity and preserve the Gresham Building.

“And that’s what this preservation movement is all about,” he said. “It seems almost incomprehensible to demolish the building when we all know it could be rehabilitated, renewed. Just a tragedy to knock down this grand old building.”

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