Friday, April 25, 2008

CORRECTION: Demolition Permit Not Requested for Cumberland Presbyterian

Inner Courtyard of Cumberland Presbyterian
UPDATE 4/25/08: The latest word I've gotten from Memphis Heritage is that a demolition permit has not been requested and/or issued. It appears to have been some other kind of permit, possibly a construction permit. While demolition seems to be very much in play here, the information I originally posted was incorrect. My apologies.

A request for permit was made. It's not clear at this point who made the request. It may not have been Chick-Fil-A.

Just received this from Memphis Heritage:
We have learned just now that Chick-fil-A made application to the City Codes Department for a demolition permit. The Landmarks Commission received a call from Codes to confirm that there was no special designation that would prevent them from demolishing the Historic Cumberland Presbyterian building at Union and Rembert St. in Midtown. This is really unthinkable that they will take this action without having an open discussion with the members of Memphis Heritage.

We are asking everyone to call the corporate offices of Chick-fil-A in Atlanta TODAY and again over the next several day (1-404-765-8000). I am afraid the toll free number might just let you leave a recording but you can try it (1-866-232-2040) and ask to speak to Truett, Dan or Bubba Cathy. Or if you want to get to their Marketing VP ask for Steve Robinson.

Please voice your tremendous disappointment that the Corporate leadership of CFA will not even meet to discuss other possibilities for the site. To our knowledge, no one from their corporate design team even came to Memphis to see about the possible adaptive reuse for this architectural landmark.
Call now!
The Cornerstone of Cumberland Presbyterian

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say tear it down. You can't save every building just because it is old.

4:38 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

That's a mighty destructive point of view, Mr. Anonymous. Almost angry.

5:36 PM  
Blogger LeftWingCracker said...

Anonymous must be in commercial real estate...

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this point we need to join forces w/ the church going community. For a company that prides it's self being closed on Sundays and they say they consult god over every business choice (the founder says that on their web site) - we need to reach out beyond our group and fire up local christian groups -
also whats the trans fat situation at chick-fil-a - in americas fattest city do we need another fast food outlet dishing up trans fats to kids? Those are the letters to write to the editor of the CA. Anti-Christian/anti-health

1:05 AM  
Blogger Chris and Kate Lareau said...

Just left a message for the marketing guy, but the secretary took the message, and I felt very ineffective.

9:24 AM  
Blogger nathanwberry said...

When you call, make sure that the rep on the phone takes a "report" and gives you a "report number".

My guess is that this is the only assuarance that a message will get through to any of the individuals on that call list. Obviously, there is no way to reach any of the individuals personally.

1:15 PM  
Blogger cdel said...

I am concerned that MH is not really doing enough to get the word out. I don't think enough people know about this. I only know about it because I read this blog. Has this issue been publicized anywhere else?

2:20 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

cdel, hopefully there will be a rally for the building on Union sometime in the next week. There has been a lot of press coverage, but it will help to have people showing their support on site. As soon as I hear something, I'll let you know.

2:38 PM  
Blogger My Father's Son said...

I support the tearing down of the CP Building at 1978 Union in Memphis to build a Chick-fil-a. My father was an employee in that building for 28 years. I grew up in those walls; I lost my virginity in the back seat of his car in the back parking lot. And in many ways I learned right from wrong from the many people that worked there. My first encounter with racial injustice was there. And during the “Iranian Hostage Crisis”, I told my dad that I was joining the army in that building. My first true lov e was introduced to my dad in that building. That building provided my dad with a paycheck that housed, fed and educated myself, two sisters and a brother. But 1978 Union Avenue is not a place of worship, though God was certainly there for me. And there is not a sanctuary, though sanctuary it has provided. It is just a building. And tearing down the building will not take away my memories, happy, sad, or otherwise. Taking down the old building and replacing it with new jobs, new direction and new memories can't be a bad thing.

11:44 AM  
Blogger nathanwberry said...

but why tear down a beautiful building when those new jobs and opportunities can possibly occupy the same space?
why tear something down that is stronger and more beautiful and definitely more meaningful than any new structure could ever be?
in a society that is supposed to be about reuse and recycle, why not apply that ideal to structures?

maybe it's just me, but i don't expect there to be a whole lot of terrific new memories from a pre-fabricated or 'cookie cutter' designed fast food building.

1:22 PM  
Blogger jccvi said...

Breaking News: We received a call from Erwin C. Reid, VP of Real Estate for Chick-fil-A yesterday afternoon. He has agreed to meet with Memphis Heritage and a group of local architects and designers to investigate the possible adaptive reuse of the Cumberland Presbyterian Archives Building. We are pleased to announce this progress. Thanks to all of you that sent emails and made phone calls asking for this meeting. It made a difference. Mr. Reid expressed that CFA did not want to have a negative impact on the Midtown neighborhood. He is still very concerned about the difficulty of adapting the building to meet their purpose and he made no promises. In offering our resources to CFA, we will hopefully be able to generate realistic comparative costs and plans for some sort of adaptive reuse versus the plan they (CFA) have proposed for the property. We will keep everyone updated on our meeting and the outcome. Again thanks to all of you for your great support for our community!

2:01 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

thanks for commenting that jccvi. I should be posting it tomorrow.

11:45 PM  
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