The preservation of our
history and culture is
not a foregone conclusion.


PROJECT NAME: Atlanta Daily World Building
Our Plan: A Historic Preservation

On March 14, 2008, a tornado ripped through downtown Atlanta, causing $250,000,000 in damage along its six-mile path of destruction, including tearing the roof off of the Atlanta Daily World Building. 145 Auburn Avenue, built in 1912, has been home to a wide variety of businesses including the longest-running African-American daily newspaper in our country’s history — the Atlanta Daily World (its namesake), founded by W.A. Scott in 1928.


The severe damage forced the paper to move out, and the building sat vacant for four years, with black mold and rotting wood deteriorating the structure, sending it further and further along a path toward demolition through neglect.

In 2012, a developer filed a permit to have the building demolished. However, community will intervened. Over 1,100 people, realizing the significance of the building’s history and hoping to preserve it, signed a petition to deny the demo permit. In a show of their political will, the Atlanta Urban Design Commission unanimously agreed, and for the time being, history had a future.


In 2013, Gene Kansas and partner Ben Dupuy purchased the building. Utilizing the Historic Tax Credit, they rehabilitated the Daily World Building, turning the upstairs into 1930s-era style apartments. Downstairs became an Arden’s Garden juice bar and a Condesa Coffee shop. As a point of interest, in 1918, the Virgil Coffee Company occupied the same space Condesa does now. Upstairs, in 1944, District V, Atlanta’s first African-American Girl Scout Troop, took up residence, while Club Poinciana entertained on the lower level with music of the day, including performances and appearances by Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.

Before & After


The award-winning historic preservation effort was named #2 Preservation Win of the Year in 2014 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with additional awards and recognition for Excellence in Preservation from The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the Atlanta Preservation Center, and the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, all in 2015.


The historic preservation of the Atlanta Daily World Building not only won Gene Kansas | Commercial Real Estate accolades, but more importantly demonstrated what’s possible when you conserve, protect, and care for history and culture. Among other positive changes, it catalyzed the adaptive reuse of the 1910 Southern School Book Building — just a few doors down — into civic and socially-based shared workspace, Constellations.



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