From June West at Memphis Heritage:
We have learned just now that an application has been made to the City Codes Department for a demolition permit.
The Landmarks Commission received a call from Codes to confirm that there was no special designation that would prevent them from demolishing the Historic Cumberland Presbyterian building at Union and Rembert St. in Midtown. This is really unthinkable that they would take this action without having an open discussion with the members of Memphis Heritage.
We are asking everyone to call the corporate offices of Chick-fil-A in Atlanta TODAY and again over the next several days (1-404-765-8000). I am afraid the toll free number might just let you leave a recording but you can try it (1-866-232-2040) and ask to speak to Truett, Dan or Bubba Cathy. Or if you want to get to their Marketing VP ask for Steve Robinson. Please voice your tremendous disappointment that the corporate leadership of CFA will not even meet to discuss other possibilities for the site. To our knowledge, no one from their corporate design team even came to Memphis to see about the possible adaptive reuse for this architectural landmark.
As one person put it in an to email to CFA: “The first step in any community project is dialogue. It is my understanding that Corporate Chick-Fil -A has refused to attend a meeting with Memphis Heritage to discuss the project and possible alternatives to demolition. Ultimately Chick-Fil -A will want to be part of the Midtown community and want to receive trust and respect from their area customers. Trust is built on dialogue and open lines of communications. Diplomatic dialogue can and should be a Chick-Fil-A corporate policy. I urge you to meet with June West and her associates for an hour of open discussion. It’s not a big amount of time but it symbolizes your interest and commitment to serve the Midtown area and future customers. “
Memphis Heritage received the following email from Perry Ragsdale, VP of design and construction for CFA. —–Original Message—– From: Perry Ragsdale [mailto:Perry.Ragsdale@chick-fil-a.com] Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 3:26 PM To: Mgorman, CC; Bubba Cathy; Dan Cathy; John Featherston; Truett.Cathy@chick-fil-a.com; Pete Abernathy Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Cumberland Presbyterian Archives Building “Mr. Gorman” (Marty Gorman is the Chair of the Board of Director’s of Memphis Heritage), “we have received numerous messages from the members of Memphis Heritage concerning this building, and we have a clear picture of the concerns. We are currently in the negotiation and inspection period, so it would not be appropriate for us to meet with you at this time. Thank you for your understanding.” This certainly does not show community partnership or respect on the part of Chick-fil-A for the residents of Midtown Memphis! Please let your voice be heard before it is too late!!!