Buckhead’s American Legion Post 140 is raising funds to complete a renovation of its historic building at Chastain Park and continuing serving veterans and the community for decades to come.

The post’s rustic, house-like headquarters — or “hut” in Legion parlance — at 3905 Powers Ferry Road dates to the 1930s. After discarding an initial plan to demolish and replace the aging structure, the post in 2019 began a major renovation, starting with a $100,000 remake of the interior. Now that interior phase is wrapping up with a $50,000 kitchen renovation.

Renovation work underway in the main room of the Post 140 hut. At right is the bar and serving window into the kitchen with a sign reading, “Marines in uniform have priority.” Credit: Rob Knight

“This kitchen remodel is the next (maybe last step for right now) in the plans to upgrade the post for both our veterans and for the community to use, and to make it a current, up-to-date facility for rentals going forward,” said John Paulson, the post’s service officer, in a text message. “The plans were always to modernize the facility while still retaining the character of that building and site.”

The hut has a lot of character inside and out, with its green-painted wooden planks, stone fireplace, and plenty of military memorabilia. A classic sign hanging above the bar and kitchen’s serving window reads, “Marines in uniform have priority.”

A view of Post 140’s kitchen before the renovation, as shown in its online fundraiser.

What goes on inside the hut is pretty important, too. It’s a gathering place for veterans from Buckhead, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs, an ever-growing group in the wake of the Global War on Terror. The post conducts fundraisers, runs a Boy Scout camp and operates a T-ball field next door, among other activities. The hut is also available to the community for event rentals.

The kitchen renovation is scheduled for completion in early to mid-November — around Veterans Day. While the post has budgeted for most of the cost, it’s a big investment for a small nonprofit. Tax-deductible donations are being accepted to help offset the cost with an online fundraiser.

The project was designed by HMJ Designs and is being carried out by contractor Ron Montford.

A new stove ready for installation at Post 140’s hut. Credit: Rob Knight

The hut was not built by the Legion and its origin remains unknown. The best guest from the post and historians is that it was a bunkhouse for New Deal project workers in the 1930s, who constructed various walls and features in today’s park. Post 140 was chartered in 1936 and its original headquarters is unclear, but is believed not to be the Powers Ferry Road hut. However, the post has been there since at least 1954.

Uncle Sam beckons from a sign at Post 140. Credit: Rob Knight

Other history is commemorated in the names of the post and the hut. The post is named for Lt. Waldo Slaton, a U.S. Army engineer who died in a previous pandemic — the influenza of 1917-1918 — while serving in World War I. The hut is dedicated to Army Staff Sgt. Ryan P. Means of Brookhaven. After a friend was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, Means enlisted and became a Special Forces soldier. He was in the service when he died of cancer in 2009.

For more about Post 140, see post140buckhead.com.

photo by Rob Knight

Pepper Boxing will add variety to the Buckhead fitness scene with their new gym in Buckhead Village.

Alexander “Pepper” Kaufman started his boxing gym concept in Nashville in 2017. Nashville tends to be a transient city, and as gym members moved on to other cities, word began to spread about this unique gym. The Atlanta Braves organization heard about Pepper Boxing, and invited Kaufman to open a second location in the Battery outside of Truist Park.

The Nashville location was a casualty of the pandemic last year, but Pepper is excited about the new location in the heart of Buckhead. He said that Buckhead has the right combination of demographic and location to make it the perfect spot for his unique boxing gym concept.

Pepper Boxing is different than other boxing gyms because there is no contact or sparring. Members take classes in the unique circular room with their own heavy bag. Everyone can see the instructor, and there are members from all of all skill levels in the same class. This makes the boxing concept much more approachable for people who might otherwise be intimidated to try it.

The club also offers weight training and private lessons in addition to the group classes. It’s easy to see upon visiting the gym that Pepper has done a great job of creating a welcoming community among his clientele. You’ll find people of all shapes, sizes, and ages among the participants.

New Art in the Neighborhood

Another aspect that makes Pepper Boxing Buckhead unique is the new mural along the outside wall of the gym. The mural covers the entire width of the building and brings a pop of color to the otherwise drab side street next to Whole Foods. Pepper said he specifically commission to the work to reflect the diversity in the community and among their clients. The clients turned out in force to officially unveil the mural. There were boxing and yoga classes outside in front of the new artwork.

The fact that people of all walks of life come together to enjoy this great community is a big reason he chose Buckhead for the new location. He’s looking forward to welcoming clients from all areas of Buckhead. As Pepper says, “the future is inclusive“.