The Chastain Park Conservancy’s leaders promised to rebuild Saturday after a fire destroyed a historic building the group used as a headquarters.
The Conservancy said that no one was harmed by the blaze and that all of the animals in the building were saved, but that the Quonset hut dating to the 1940s and everything in it were “unsalvagable.”
“Please know that while this beloved historic building served as our headquarters, it will not prevent us from fulfilling our mission for Chastain Park,” the organization wrote in a Facebook post.
Fire crews arrived at the park around 6:30 p.m. Friday to find flames and smoke — and parts of the building already collapsed. The blaze was contained within an hour with the help of crews from Atlanta and Sandy Springs.
The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined, but conservancy director Rosa McHugh said there was no reason at this point to suspect vandalism. She said electrical work to upgrade the building, known as “The Barn,” was underway this week.
The Chastain Park Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and improving the park, which spans 268 acres and attracts an estimated 2 million visitors each year. It operated out of the building, which was nestled in the middle of the park’s public golf course.
McHugh said the blaze began an hour after she left the building and destroyed the group’s pickup truck, lawn mower and other equipment used to maintain the park. But she said most records were preserved online and that other nearby buildings, including a pavilion and greenhouse, were not damaged.
“Our collective goal and hope is to rebuild on or near our existing site, and we will strive for a building that conveys the barn’s historic character and will serve as a community gathering center,” she said in a post.
“Like Atlanta's beloved symbol, the Phoenix, the Conservancy will rise again — better than ever — from the ashes,” she said. “Our board, supporters, volunteers, the city and park patrons will see to that.”