Friday
Feb082013

The HeART House Artist-in-Residency program needs your help.

 

The Creatives Project [TCP] had placed under contract for purchase the property at 1474 Metropolitan Pkwy to serve a future artist-in-residency home. The closing date was tentatively scheduled for Feb. [15].

However, a Feb. 8 fire destroyed the property.

 

Future site of TCP's HeArt House goes up in flames prior to closing. Image courtesy of John Spink, jspink@ajc.com
TCP had planned to convert the property (or HeART House) into a live-work space to provide subsidized housing for local and visiting artists from across the country and the world. As part of the residency agreement, the artists would participate in TCP’s community outreach programming serving southwest Atlanta.

Now that this house is gone, TCP will redouble its efforts to either find a new location or rebuild at 1474 Metropolitan Pkwy. Read Debbie Michaud's Creative Loafing Story here.

In the meantime,here’s how you can help:
  • share our story
  • donate a vacant property/lease
  • make a tax deductible donation to the HeArt House Project
  • recommend properties for purchase as TCP searches for a new location
  • introduce TCP to historic conservationists who may assist with rebuilding the destroyed property (property's history below)
  • identify corporate donors and private funders whose philanthropic goals align with our mission
  • suggest TCP to new supporters; volunteers, patrons, sponsors, partners
  • recommend our program offerings to artists and communities


WSBTV: NEWS COVERAGE

How did we get here? Where will your donations go?

We apologize in advance for the lengthy text below BUT we want for you to know what you are supporting. You can skip it if you like;)

Before the fire:

We are a grassroots organization who has relied solely on individual donations and corporate sponsorships. Last fall we presented a business plan to a local patron. He was impressed and agreed to finance a loan to enable our organization to purchase this property. WOW. We were so excited. To top it off he also agreed to a loan for renovation expense in the event we were unable to raise all the funds needed up front. Once launched, residency income would support the mortgage. We also secured a number of partnerships to help offset renovation costs (download more info here). We estimated total costs of the purchase and rebuild to be 60k-80K as we continued to secured partnerships for material donations and pro bono services. Things were looking great, the community was coming together to make the HeART House happen. Without you, our partners, and this unnamed patron we could not have made it this far!

This week our team was to gear up for the big announcement that TCP had closed on the home. We would begin a call to action for support rallying volunteers and donors to begin the remodel.

Then the fire happened.

After the shock settled with a number of team conversations, the idea to release this story to the public became more important. We felt that the community should be a part of the dialogue as this house was to be a home for the community. It was a special landmark so we wanted to let the community decide its fate. We thought you guys would have suggestions, ideas, and strategies to share. One of those ideas was to contact the media: "what if, just what if, the right eyes fell upon this story?"

SO... some of our hopes for a resolution:

Ideally we could somehow keep this home alive. It is a far stretch but there are extreme home remodeling shows and generous benefactors hiding across the nation! Right? We just need to get the story out to them!

In this case the money you donate would go to any expenses not covered by this angel donor to create and run the residency, better yet create scholarships for resident/visiting resident expenses.

Another great scenario would be for a building/property to be donated. In which case we would only have to raise funds for renovations not covered through our partnerships.

Our final option is to locate another property for purchase. A process we have already started as it can be a long and arduous one. We truly hope to find another affordable yet grand property for sale at which point we will start from the top.

Please Please share your ideas with us. Let us know if you have ANY questions. We truly appreciate everything you have given to help get us here in such a short short time.

As always we promise every dollar you donate will be marked with heart and gratitude to help our city's artists, youth, and creative demeanor!

Click here to download our community outreach plans and HeART house  wishlist (prior to the fire)

Email us for more info on how to get involved info@thecreativesproject.org

PROJECT SPONSOR:

We would love to add your company as one of our project sponsors

GET INVOLVED.

 

1474 Metropolitan Pkwy is one of Capitol View's historic "Deckner" homes.

TCP has wants to keep it alive.

 

About The Deckner Family of Capitol View; the original owners of the home.

The Deckner family is one of the original families in the Capitol View area who owned a great deal of the land. The Deckner’s plat of land was located in district 14 Land Lot 89 (Map-38) and was 100 acres in 1866.[1] The value of the land at the time was $700.

Frederick Deckner emigrated from Germany to Wisconsin in 1842 and lived there for 23 years before settling in Georgia in 1865 at the advice of his son, Charles Deckner (1847-1933).  In Georgia, Frederick Deckner observed that “the climate is a perfect representation of Italy-the finest in the world”.[2] The recommendation to relocate from Wisconsin to Georgia came from the young Charles Deckner and his experience of being a Union Soldier in that area during the Civil War. Both father and son were known for their agricultural expertise as well as their truck farming practices. Truck farming involved the practice of growing more than one crop at a time and shipping these crops to distant markets.  The younger Deckner’s advice for the proper care of crops, such as cantaloupes and asparagus, is documented in the Atlanta Constitution newspaper. Deckner’s cultivation and irrigation techniques were also admired. McMillan Seed Company used the Charles Deckner name in their advertisement to sell their bulbs to the community, showing the importance of the Deckner name as a large market gardener in plant cultivation. [3] (A-1).
          
Charles Deckner was married to Mattie A Bugg Deckner. They had six children: William, Leila, Virginia, Allen, Carl H. and Edward G. Deckner. The properties associated with Charles are still standing on Stewart Avenue (now Metropolitan Parkway). The oldest known Deckner family home is a Central Hall cottage with a rear ell built in 1866 (Photo 05 on P-3) The main Charles Deckner house is located at 1488 Metropolitan Parkway and it is an example of the Second Empire style, built in 1870 (H-2, H-3 and Photo 01 on P-1).  The Second Empire style is characterized by the mansard roof: a dual-pitched, hipped roof with dormers.  Many other Deckner houses survive on Metropolitan Parkway Southwest and are examples of Victorian homes. Leila Deckner’s property is located at 1466 Metropolitan Parkway and was built in 1896 (Photos 02 on P-1). Virginia Deckner’s property is located at 1474 and was built in 1903 (Photo 03 on P-2). Both are Queen Anne cottages with Folk Victorian details. Allen Deckner’s property is located at 1500 and was built in 1908 (Photo 04 on P-2). It is a New South cottage that does not exhibit any architectural style.  Carl H. Deckner’s property is located at 1510 and was built in 1910. It is also noted that Frederick Deckner’s now demolished house was located where Atlanta Metropolitan College now sits. The surviving Deckner houses represent the only high-style homes in the Capitol View Historic District and are all contributing properties to the district.

In addition to the agricultural expertise of Charles Deckner, he was well respected in the community as a public figure. He served as the vice president of the 5th Congressional District of the Georgia State Horticultural Society from 1908 to 1909. He also had a pivotal role in the “Last Man Club” of Atlanta. This group was made up of Civil War veterans and met in the Masonic Lodge (1310 Metropolitan Parkway) in Capitol View. The purpose was for camaraderie, and as the years went by, their numbers dwindled.  By 1930, Charles Deckner and Charles Haskins were the only two surviving members.[4] Charles Deckner remained the last surviving veteran of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization for Civil War veterans. Charles Deckner was also cited during the Atlanta Riot of 1906 for efforts to protect a dozen African Americans by “guarding them a day and a night”[5]

[1] Fulton County Georgia Tax Digest, 1873.
[2] Publications: Vol. 5, Georgia Department of Agriculture ( Atlanta, GA: Jas. P. Harrison &Co., State Printers, 1880), 46.
[3] The Atlanta Constitution Journal, Date unknown.
[4] The Atlanta Constitution Journal, date unknown
[5] Ray Stannard Baker, The Atlanta Riot, (Phillips Publishing Co, 1907), 22-23.

ESSAY TAKEN FROM:The Application Form to make Capitol View a Historic District
Case Studies in Historic Preservation Class, HIST 8700, Spring 2011, Richard Laub, Instructor
The following students contributed to the Capitol View Historic District Information Form:
Adam Archual, Steve Bare, Mera Cardenas, Angelica Dion, Sarah Edwards, Anna Joiner, Joy Melton


About State Representative Grace Davis; the second and last owner of the home.

Grace Davis, 72: Former State representative

By J.E. Geshwiler  : For the AJC

From 1987 through 1998, state Rep. Grace Davis, D-Atlanta, was an outspoken advocate in the Georgia House of Representatives on behalf of the impoverished and underserved, not just in her near-Southside district but throughout the state.

"Grace fought zealously for her issues -- greater support for aid to families with dependent children, unemployment benefits and Grady Hospital -- always pushing for legislation to improve the quality of life for the poorest Georgians," said retired Rep. Bob Holmes, D-Atlanta.

"Grace wasn't a polished speaker, but you always knew what she was trying to say and exactly where she stood," he added.

Rep. Davis was credited with successfully shepherding a bill to passage that slapped stiffer controls on mortgage refinance practices and, as a result, prevented hundreds of low-income homeowners from losing their homes.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Cynthia Tucker complimented Rep. Davis in a 1992 column for winning passage of her bill to create a Georgia Commission on the Status of Women. The commission's mandate was to study state laws and policies and to recommend more educated approaches for dealing with women's issues.

Her son, Curtis Davis Jr. of Atlanta, said Rep. Davis had strong feminist leanings. He said she was fond of saying, "It's a man's world, but by golly, I'm making my way through it as a woman."

Ms. Tucker noted it was remarkable that Rep. Davis was able to enlist the support of House Speaker Tom Murphy to gain passage of legislation creating the women's commission. But Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, noted that Rep. Davis had long endeared herself to the speaker and "Tom Murphy just couldn't say no to Grace."

In 1998, Douglas Dean, who had held Rep. Davis' House seat before her, defeated her in a Democratic primary runoff. Four years later, Rep. Davis was appointed project director in the Aging Services Division in Georgia's Department of Human Services, a position she held for four years. Her son said dealing with problems of the elderly had become a cause that was dear to her heart.

Grace Wilkerson Davis, 72, of Atlanta died Tuesday at Pinehurst Hospice in Macon of kidney failure. A celebration of her life is planned at 11 a.m. Saturday at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church with interment to follow Monday in Americus. Murray Brothers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Rep. Davis was born and reared in Sumter County outside Americus. In 1958, she married her high school sweetheart, Curtis Davis, after the two were graduated. She attended Tuskegee Institute, and after she and her husband moved to New York City, she completed her education at Hunter College. While in New York, she worked as an accountant for the ABC Network and sampled her first taste of politics in 1965 working for the election of John Lindsay as the city's mayor.

Returning to Georgia in the late 1960s, she got a job at radio station WAOK as a controller and accountant.

That's where state Rep. Brooks, then a leader in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, first met her. He and other SCLC members had gone to the station to show their support for WAOK's African-American staff, which had charged the station's out-of-town parent company with discriminatory pay and promotion practices. Rep. Brooks said he was impressed by the way Rep. Davis laid out, point by point, the staff's grievances.

Her involvement with the civil rights movement grew from there. Rep. Brooks said she accompanied him and others in a motorcade to Plains to protest President Jimmy Carter's firing of U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young. Once in Sumter County, he said Rep. Davis introduced him to her father, who still lived there, and the latter urged Rep. Brooks to train his daughter for leadership as Hosea Williams had been training Rep. Brooks.

Rep. Brooks also recalled an incident two decades ago when Rep. Davis, then a legislator, complained of a severe pain in her leg. Rep. Brooks said he insisted she see a doctor and, over her protests, arranged for her son to drive her to get medical attention. Shortly thereafter, Rep. Brooks received a call from her doctor telling him she had had a clot removed that otherwise might have killed her. For years afterward, Rep. Brooks said, Rep. Davis would introduce him to her friends as "my lifesaver."

Rep. Davis' husband died in 1991. Besides her son, survivors include a brother, Edward Wilkerson of Decatur, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.