This week marks the end of an era. As many, many, many of you know, for well over a decade now, The Firm’s Marietta office has been located in a second floor walk up on the Marietta Square over Tommy’s Sandwich Shop.
Shelia and I moved from our Washington Avenue location to the Square back in 2001. We changed from a bucolic, antebellum grand house to less but infinitely more useable square footage commercial building. We moved from the quiet life of Washington Avenue to the constant bustle of the Square.
We lovingly restored the 1896 building as much as the landlord and finances would allow. We refinished the original wood floors, took advantage of a roof leak to expose a brick interior wall and installed period ceiling fixtures to continue the early century ambience. The space was so period that one client liked to refer to the Marietta office as Attorney Noir.
Many will recall the steep, narrow stairway that lead from the street to our floor. I often heard it remarked that the stairway posed a very real passage for our clients as they contemplated and then embarked upon their divorce. One client even told me that after she climbed to the top of those steps she knew she was going to hire us that day because she was not going to go back home, decide that night to hire and then have to re-climb the steps the next day!
The space worked well for us for years. I had the advantage of having a separate office, but I usually felt that the larger communal space was very conducive to productivity, interaction and camaraderie. I have heard it expressed from the staff who worked daily in that environment that it felt quite cramped and overpopulated at times. In later years, we suffered greatly from having no actual conference room and no good waiting space for our clients.
As Shelia recently put it, it is quite impressive that we grew to one of the largest family law firms in all of Georgia from that space.
But all good things must come to an end, or so we are told. And we came to a parting of the ways with that office on Friday, June 28th. We packed up all of our computers, desks, files, pictures, pens and paperclips. We had them removed from that consecrated and loaded up onto the big moving truck which took everything away.
Several hours later, as I damp mopped the beautifully restored floors, I grew teary eyed remembering many of the families we have served from that space, the laughter and sorrows I’ve shared with clients and staff, friends all, from that cozy, erstwile cramped little office.
Feeling a little like Carol Burnette’s character as she signed off, with mop in hand I closed the door and turned the key that one last time.
Farewell, Attorney Noir. I will miss you.