North Fulton County

Some Roswell residents, city officials upset historic building could become parking deck

ROSWELL, Ga. — A group of Roswell residents and former city officials are fighting a plan to build a new parking deck for downtown. This would mean demolishing a historic building.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was along Alpharetta Street at one of the oldest buildings in North Fulton.

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It dates back to the pre-civil war and was built in 1859 as a church. It’s had the brick stuccoed over and is now the Roswell Masonic Lodge.

But, the city says it needs two buildings owned by the Masons to build a planned parking deck. The city says the property is vital to downtown and transforming nearby Canton Street.

Roswell city council voted on the site for a new $20 million parking garage and plans to demolish the Roswell Masonic Lodge that sits on it.


“History is what makes Roswell special,” Roswell Mayor Jere Wood said.

Wood is leading the effort to save over a century-and-a-half-old historic building.

In a statement to Channel 2 Action News, the city said it’s deeply dedicated to preserving historic treasures.

“The acquisition of the property…is crucial for transportation-related public uses. This includes construction of the parking deck and new walkways that will ensure safe pedestrian movement across various city roads in the downtown area.”

The lodge sits along Highway 9 near Canton Street and plans call for the entire property to be used for access.

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Wood, who’s not opposed to a parking deck, thinks the historic building can be saved while still adding the garage and believes a makeover would be cheaper than demolition.

“They say it’s an ugly building. It does need to be restored, but it can be a beautiful building and it’s part of our history. But once you tear it down, it is gone forever,” Wood said.

There’s no timeline on when the city would need to complete eminent domain to buy the property.

The project is estimated to take two and a half years to complete.