Seymour W. Liebmann: Our Neighborhood
Association’s First President
Our neighborhood had the good fortune in 1968 to have Colonel Seymour Liebmann, his lovely wife, Hinda, and their sons, Peter and David, choose Rilman Drive as their place to live.
Sy, as he was affectionately known by all, was always, at heart, a farmer. He grew up in upstate New York in the Hudson Valley on his family’s farm where they grew apples and livestock. Sy’s older brother Mel later ran an Army-Navy store for more than 50 years that still serves the community.
After earning his degree in mechanical engineering, Sy joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, retiring with the rank of Colonel. In the Corps, he handled logistics of the Berlin Airlift, and later served as a military engineer in Korea during the Korean War. In Atlanta, Sy would go on to become president of a large construction company, A.R. Abrams, and form a very successful engineering consulting practice, Liebmann Associates.
Shortly after he, Hinda and the boys moved to Rilman Drive, Sy became involved in the community. He became Chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit A (“NPU-A”) which reviews the planning and zoning matters for Western Buckhead, including the Nancy Creek area. Sy helped to organize the West Paces/Northside Neighborhood Association, and served as its first President. Sy also volunteered in community organizations, including one of his favorites, the Boy Scouts of America. A favorite weekend activity was to organize a fishing trip to Unicoi State Park or a hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Sy was an early advocate of neighborhood preservation in the 1970s when Atlanta was undergoing a huge transformation into a regional center, its zoning laws were an afterthought, and the Atlanta mascot was a bulldozer.
He was known for his intellect, his keen organizational abilities, his total selflessness in giving of his time to the neighborhood, and his brilliant critique of proposed development. If it were not for Sy’s relentless hard work, the development along West Paces Ferry Road and Northside Parkway would today be much like that on Peachtree and Lenox Roads.
As Chair of NPU-A, Sy’s leadership in establishing a citizen review procedure for proposed zoning changes and other community issues soon made NPU-A the standard that not only other Atlanta NPUs, but other cities around the country sought to emulate. NPU-A applicants knew that when they appeared before the board under Sy’s leadership they would face rigorous examination of their proposals. Sy often surprised applicants by recalculating their engineering proposals on the spot as they presented their proposals.
For our neighborhood, Sy was a great organizer of our opposition to many shoddy, ill-conceived proposed developments. We will not soon forget the time that Sy lead a turnout of well over 1,000 neighbors to attend a NPU-A meeting at Trinity Church to voice opposition to a proposed development on Northside Parkway.
On November 14, 2015, our community suffered a great loss when Sy passed away. Sy will long be remembered as a great leader who, while conducting himself as a gentleman, was quick to stand-up for our neighborhoods as our strongest advocate.
Perhaps Sy’s greatest contribution to the City of Atlanta was his leadership and training of others on how to make positive impact, and in particular, his strong moral compass of always stressing right from wrong, and looking far down the road to the consequences of actions that we take today.
Services for Colonel Liebmann will held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in March. He will receive full military honors, with a caisson, military band, troops, with a rabbi conducting his funeral ceremony.
Mr. James Nobles, JD
Mr. Henry Feinstein, JD
Seymour W. "Sy" Liebmann of Atlanta died November 14, 2015, age 87, after a period of declining health. Raised in the Hudson Valley of New York among cows, chickens, and apple orchards, he graduated as a mechanical engineer from Clarkson College in 1948 and was on a train to Army Officers Training Camp the same night. Lt. Liebmann supported the Berlin Airlift as a member of the 1st Infantry and later served as a military engineer in the Korean War. He rose through the ranks and retired as a full colonel. He served as president of the Atlanta Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, where a scholarship is named after him. In a life of civic engagement, Liebmann was called "guardian of our neighborhoods" and served as chair of Atlanta's NPU-A and on city review boards, was an active member of The Temple, and was awarded the Silver Beaver by the Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. President of Liebmann Associates, Inc., he worked on commercial and residential engineering projects throughout the Southeast and garnered numerous professional awards and recognition. With a full career and volunteer life, nothing made him happier than puttering in the yard, napping on the couch, hiking with friends from the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, or fishing Smith Creek in Unicoi State Park. Beloved husband, father, and grandfather, he leaves his wife of 56 years, Hinda, sons Peter and David, daughter-in-law Anna, and granddaughter Gracie. Funeral to be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. Remembrances to email@example.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy or the Liebmann Memorial Scholarship, Atlanta Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, P.O. Box 888501, Atlanta, GA 30356
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov. 18, 2015 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/atlanta/obituary.aspx?pid=176546070#sthash.R7bkRlLe.dpuf
The final quarter of 2015 was quiet in our neighborhood with the exception of a targeted home robbery on Wood Valley Rd. in October. There was one reported theft from an auto on Pinestream Rd. in November. There were several burglaries and thefts from autos in our surrounding neighborhoods, so we were extremely fortunate. Our residents were very active in contacting 911 or the security patrol to report suspicious persons. Fortunately, when we received calls about persons in our neighborhood and we investigated, the people had legitimate reasons to be in the area.
Do not let this deter you from placing a call to the security patrol or 911. As always, we would rather receive a call and have the police investigate than to not receive a call and have a crime committed. Please continue to be vigilant this year. Keep your eyes open and report ANY suspicious activity.
We did increase the security patrol by fifty percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
As a constant reminder, we would like to ask everyone to stay vigilant and call 911 FIRST if you see any suspicious activity or persons in the neighborhood.
The security patrol is looking forward to another successful year of serving this neighborhood.
Thank you for your continued support.
In 2015, we set an all-time record for membership at West Paces Neighborhood Association -274 Members!
70% of most residents paid their dues. Special congratulations and thanks goes to Kilby, West Paces Ferry Court, Montana, and Rilman Dr. who had 90% or higher! We have come a long away from the 1990’s when about 35% of our residents were members of the association.
Your continued financial support has allowed West Paces Neighborhood Association to slightly increase its security patrols and to continue having one of the safest neighborhoods in Atlanta. Security alarms force criminals to get in and out of our homes quickly and it is our security patrol that deters criminals from making our neighborhood an easy target.
Your support has also allowed us to continue funding neighborhood beautification projects and begin our neighborhood lecture program. In the next week or so, you will hear more about our next lecture which will feature a speaker from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We are finalizing a date and it will be one night in mid-February at Pace Academy''s Upper School.
The 2016 dues are $285 and, in order to encourage early renewal, we are offering a discount of $25.00 to those who pay prior to January 15. For new residents, those who moved in after July 2015, a first year membership fee is $137.50.
Among the most difficult things your board faces every year is keeping our data base accurate. As you can imagine, the only way we can do this is with your help. Our new website (www.westpaces.org) allows members to change their personal information. We also need everyone's help in letting us know when new families move into the neighborhood so our New Neighbor Committee can welcome them and give the family relevant information regarding our community.
Thanks for your support and best wishes for a great 2016!
Craig Perry—Membership Chair
Please email me at the below email address with any corrections you may have or questions regarding your membership status.
West Paces Neighborhood Members,
I hope you had a great holiday season and are looking forward to a
2015 was banner year for your neighborhood association. We had more
members than in any year since our founding. We initiated a new
website, logo, and E- newsletter. In 2016, we will continue to
focus on increasing membership ensuring increased security patrol.
Security will continue to be our number one priority
in 2016, as that was the primary reason for this association's
founding in 1991 and continues to be a chief concern among neighbors.
If you have already joined in 2016, thank you. Please do what you can
to get encourage your local friends and neighbors to join!
While security is our number one priority, we are
always looking for additional ways in which we can enhance the
neighborhood and make living here as unique and beneficial as
possible. Your input and involvement is critical to making that happen
at the highest level. We are all very busy people, but there is
something that we can all contribute to make West Paces Neighborhood a
better place in which to live.
Thank you all and I look forward to seeing you out and about around
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