A few years ago, as renovations began at the former George W. Adair School, the auditorium space was so dilapidated, exposed to the elements, and flooded in places, you’d have expected to find zombies grumbling in the shadows—right before the walls collapsed from neglect.

It’s a different story today for the century-old space that once served as a lynchpin for Southwest Atlanta communities.

Switchyards, which bills itself as Atlanta’s “pioneer in 24/7 neighborhood work clubs” and WFH alternative, has remade the airy former gym into its eighth location in Adair Park.

The business is part of the adaptive-reuse Academy Lofts Adair Park school remake, which introduced the concept of “art-force housing” to Atlanta two years ago. (A Hodgepodge Coffeehouse offshoot called Darling Josephine had previously been planned for the old auditorium space.)

Inside Switchyards' main space today. Courtesy of Switchyards

The converted school at 711 Catherine Street has 35 “micro units” ranging from studios of just 312 square feet to one-bedrooms with 482 square feet—some of the smallest apartments Atlanta has ever seen. Project leaders have long called the walkable location a perk, as the 1912 Academic Gothic structure stands two blocks from an entrance to the BeltLine’s Westside Trail, and MARTA’s West End station is roughly a 10-minute walk away. 

Switchyards also debuted a Chamblee location last month, expanding a footprint that includes coworking spaces in downtown, Loring Heights, Virginia-Highland, Cabbagetown, Decatur, and Buckhead. The deal goes that $100 monthly memberships gain access to all locations. Each has a café area for meetings and collaborations, a quiet library, and soundproof phone booths for video conferences and calls.   

Find a before/after look in the gallery above.

The Academy Lofts Adair Park location on Catherine Street in Adair Park. Google Maps


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