Google+ Georgia On My Mind: The Tuttle

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Tuttle

Think about this for a minute...

What would happen if a rock formation in the shape of an eagle was discovered on a construction site?

Construction would stop, all sorts of experts would be called, groups would protest, the rock  formation would receive its own Facebook page and most certainly mention of it would be found in the newspaper, right?

Apparently, finding a rock formation resembling an eagle during construction of a Federal courthouse and post office in 1907 wasn't a big enough deal to make the papers because I can't find one mention of it...anywhere.

Insert a heavy sigh here.

Atlanta has "The TED" referencing Turner Stadium, but we also have "The Tuttle".

Yes, "The Tuttle"...found at 56 Forsyth Street.

I'm referring to the building above that houses the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals renamed in 1981 to honor Elbert Parr Tuttle, an Atlanta  judge known for the large amount of pro bono civil rights work he handled during his legal career. Tuttle was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 for his Civil Rights work.
The building itself has been the location of several important cases through recent years including the Elian Gonzales case and at least two of the decisions regarding Bush v. Gore were decided within the walls of the Tuttle building.
Also known as the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse from years past, the five-story building is huge. It occupies the block bordered by Forsyth, Fairlie, Poplar, and Walton Streets.
In 1907, Atlanta had grown to such proportions a new federal courthouse and post office was needed. Congress appropriated the money and on July 23, 1907 folks in Atlanta viewed this drawing of their million dollar plus courthouse on the front page of The Atlanta Constitution.

Architecturally, the building follows the Second Renaissance Revival style. Some windows contain carved serpent-and-staff designs associated with Mercury, the Roman messenger god - an early symbol used by the postal service.

A mural decorates the lobby portraying an allegorical Justice flanked by Industry and Agriculture.

The carved oak panels throughout the building are decorated with garlands, scrolled brackets and molding.

....and of course the courtrooms are magnificent with detail. Unfortunately,I don't think someone will be writing about many of the courtrooms of today one hundred years from now. They just don't capture the attention as buildings such as "The Tuttle".

James Knox Taylor, the supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury designed the building with ground being broken in 1906. As I read about the building the most amazing thing I found was a natural rock formation resembling an American Bald Eagle was discovered as the building's foundation was dug. Apparently, folks involved decided since it was a symbol of our country, it was a sign that the proper site had been chosen for a Federal building.

I've scoured the papers during the years of construction - 1906 to 1910 - and can't find a mention of the discovery.

Was this just some natural fluke in the topography of the site?

Was this evidence of Native Americans in the area?

Should it have been preserved?

Seriously....Why can't I find any further mention of the formation?

Sometimes, I can't find the answers I'm searching for, and it's very frustrating.

Pictures courtesy of the Library of Congress.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...