MARTA Expansion Plans Threaten Heretic Atlanta

Plans to expand MARTA could threaten the livelihood of one of Atlanta’s most popular gay clubs, Heretic.

The expansion project aims to connect the Lindbergh and Avondale stations with light rail, with operations beginning in 2026. However, the plans show that the station would be built at 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road—where Heretic is currently located. A spokesperson for MARTA told the AJC that these plans are just preliminary.

Charles Paine, the chairman of the LGBTQ historic preservation advisory committee for Historic Atlanta, penned a letter addressed to MARTA CEO Jeffrey A. Parker and Chairman Robbie Ashe in late November urging them to “immediately begin looking at alternative locations” and avoid removing “a potential historical resource associated with the LGBTQ community.”

Historic Atlanta further cited in its letter the potential for the club to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the coming years. While Heretic has not yet been nominated for the National Register, they hope to secure the funding in 2020 to apply for a nomination for the Georgia Register.

Since receiving that letter, MARTA issued a statement saying the project was being reviewed, taking into consideration “all properties, landmarks, and natural habitats that could be impacted.”