|Herndon Office Building
231-245 Auburn Avenue
Sweet Auburn Historic District
Built: 1924 ; the 2H4 on the front
of the building stands for Herndon and year of completion.
Designer & Financier: Alonzo
Original Use: The building has approximately 60 offices,
6 storefronts and a hotel section. Salvaged materials were
used in the interior.
Re-adaptive Use: The building is boarded up and awaiting
This building was constructed by Alonzo
Herndon, the founder of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company,
as an office structure to compete with the
Odd Fellows office complex across the street built by
black millionaire Benjamin J. Davis. The Herndon building
is one of the most imposing edifices in the Auburn Commercial
District (albeit quite deteriorated in 2002). Businesses and
organizations housed in the building have included the NAACP
offices, The Savoy Hotel, Galanti Brothers Delicatessen, The
Atlanta Urban League and many of Atlanta's black physicians.
Herndon built a gas station on the east side of the building
facing Auburn Avenue anticipating the automobile age. This
now functions as a police precinct station.
Late 1920's to 1964- In 1913 The Atlanta Neighborhood
Union, founded by Mrs. Lugenia Burns
Hope, became affiliated with the National Urban League
to enable concentrated activity in the given realms of social
work. From the 1920's to 1965 this organization was located
in the Herndon Building.
1925 to 1935- The Atlanta School of Social Work was
located in the Herndon building. In 1919 Urban League activities
in the area created a dire need for social workers and the
Atlanta School of Social Work was established the following
year. In the 1930's the school moved to the Atlanta
University Center Complex.
1930 to1970- Dr. Homer Nash was located in the building.
1960 to 1970- B.B. Bearmons Restaurant was located
in the building.
1960 to 1970- John Calhoun, an important business man
on the avenue, had his furniture store in the building.
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