ATLANTA, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Georgia Trust for Historic
Preservation released today its 2006 list of 10 Places in Peril in the state.
Sites on the list include: The Terrell County Courthouse in Dawson; the
Auburn Avenue Commercial District in Atlanta; Andalusia, the home of Flannery
O'Connor, outside of Milledgeville; Hartwell Downtown National Register
District; Pasaquan, an internationally acclaimed visionary art site in Marion
County near Buena Vista; U.S. Highway 17, the gateway to Historic Brunswick
and the Golden Isles; the former Hawkinsville High School; Ponce de Leon
Apartments in Atlanta; City Mills in Columbus; and the Cowen Farmstead in
"This is the first year that The Georgia Trust has released a Places in
Peril list," said Greg Paxton, president and CEO of the Trust. "We hope the
list will draw attention to larger issues facing Georgia's historic places by
highlighting endangered buildings or sites that represent threatened resources
throughout the state," he added.
Paxton also said the Trust anticipates developing a similar list annually
and announcing the sites placed on the Places in Peril list each November.
Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia's significant
historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings,
structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are
threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate
development or insensitive public policy.
"We are not attempting to develop a 'most endangered list' for Georgia,"
Paxton said of the Places in Peril list. "There are hundreds of locations
throughout our state that could have been on our list -- and they are just as
endangered and in need of community help as the 10 we have identified," he
Through Places in Peril, the Trust hopes to encourage owners and
individuals, organizations and communities to employ preservation tools,
partnerships and resources necessary to reclaim, restore and revitalize
historic properties that are in peril.
The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is the country's largest
statewide, nonprofit preservation organization with more than 8,000 members.
Committed to preserving and enhancing Georgia's communities and their
diverse historic resources for the education and enjoyment of all, The Georgia
Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered
properties acquired by its Revolving Fund; provides design assistance to 105
Georgia Main Street cities and encourages neighborhood revitalization; trains
Georgia's teachers to engage students in 61 Georgia school systems to discover
state and national history through their local historic resources; and
advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation
The Georgia Trust is a recipient of the Trustees Award for Organizational
Excellence from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
For more information on the 2006 Places in Peril list or to learn more
about The Georgia Trust, go to www.georgiatrust.org.
Summary Information on each Places in Peril Site
Terrell County Courthouse, Dawson
Built in 1892, the Terrell County Courthouse in Dawson was designed by
William H. Parkins, one of the state's leading post-Civil War architects. With
estimated repairs reaching $5 million, this High Victorian brick courthouse is
one of the most threatened courthouses in the state. Terrell County's
courthouse is just one of 139 historic Georgia courthouses that risk
endangerment without state technical and financial assistance. Others in great
need of repair include courthouses in Appling, Brooks, Clinch, Hancock,
Mitchell, Randolph, Schley, Steward, Talbot, Taliaferro, Taylor, Treutlen,
Turner, Wilcox, Wilkes and Wilkinson counties.
Auburn Avenue Commercial District, Atlanta
Internationally recognized as the birthplace of the civil rights movement
and a National Historic Landmark District, the Auburn Avenue Commercial
District in Atlanta contains a long list of historically and architecturally
significant structures. Once a thriving African-American business district,
after segregation ended, businesses closed and residents moved elsewhere.
Today, the remaining businesses are mixed with boarded up buildings. What the
area needs now is a unified, community-developed and -supported vision for
revitalization based on the preservation and reuse of the area's existing
The home of one of the most respected American fiction writers, Andalusia
served as an inspiration to many of the late Flannery O'Connor's stories.
Located outside of Milledgeville, Andalusia has been deteriorating since 1964
when it was last occupied as a residence. Since 2001, the Flannery O'Connor-
Andalusia Foundation has worked to stabilize the property, but needs
additional funds to maintain the buildings. The site represents scores of
historic sites across Georgia that need additional funds to fulfill their
mission and operate as museums.
Pasaquan, Marion County, Buena Vista
Pasaquan, an internationally acclaimed visionary art site in Marion County
near Buena Vista, consists of six major structures-the oldest a redesigned
1885 farmhouse-and hundreds of feet of decorated walls that are rapidly
deteriorating due to lack of adequate funding to maintain the property. The
four-acre site is now managed by the Pasaquan Preservation Society, a
volunteer board of trustees that needs funding to develop a strategic plan, a
master plan for the site and for restoration. Like Pasaquan, there are scores
of historic landscapes throughout Georgia that need additional funding to
support restoration and maintenance efforts.
National drugstore chain CVS wants to open a location in downtown
Hartwell, but its plans include the demolition of an entire block of historic
buildings. In their place, the company wants to build a store with a drive-
through window and blank wall facing the street-a design incompatible with
Hartwell's revitalization efforts. The influx of retail chains like CVS into
downtown can be positive, but an auto-oriented suburban site plan for this
store does not fit into the context of a walkable, pedestrian-friendly
U.S. Highway 17, Brunswick
Over the years, many preservationists and local organizations have tried
to preserve Highway 17, known as the "Gateway to Historic Brunswick and the
Golden Isles." More recently, leaders in this area have recognized the
importance of this gateway to their communities. While a master planning
process is currently focused on this important corridor, character-specific
zoning and design guidelines are needed to protect its historic and scenic
character while guiding compatible new development along the route. Like
Highway 17, many other roadways leading to Georgia's historic downtowns are
becoming engulfed with unplanned development and would greatly benefit from
measures to preserve positive qualities while guiding new development.
Old Hawkinsville High School
Built in 1936, the Old Hawkinsville High School served as the neighborhood
school for Pulaski County until 1976. Many want to save the structure, but if
a new use or influx of funds for preservation and ongoing maintenance are not
found within the next two years, the building may be demolished. As schools
are built on the outskirts of town on vacant lots, well-built former schools
such as Hawkinsville High School are falling into disuse and disrepair. Many
communities have found adaptive uses for their former schools. New national
guidelines already in place offer Georgia an alternative to abandoning
conveniently located, historic in-town schools.
Ponce de Leon Apartments, Atlanta
Located opposite the Fox Theatre at the corner of Atlanta's Ponce de Leon
Avenue and Peachtree Street, the Ponce de Leon Apartments opened in 1913 as a
companion piece to the Georgian Terrace Hotel. After an incomplete condominium
conversion in 1982, the building's fate is up in the air. The building needs
substantial funding for rehabilitation. Many historic condominiums may face
similar problems in the future.
City Mills, Columbus
Established by wealthy planter Seaborn Jones in 1828, City Mills in
Columbus, Ga., spent 150 years grinding corn and wheat. Recently one of the
mill's structures built by Horace King, a freed slave known for his post-Civil
War covered bridges, was illegally razed. Because the long-term owners have
been unable to find a new use for City Mills, its future is uncertain. While
several large mill buildings throughout the state have recently been
rehabilitated, Georgia has dozens of such mills sitting vacant. Although it's
often a challenge to find new uses for such large buildings, successful
examples in Georgia include mills in Newnan, Athens, Augusta, Atlanta and
elsewhere in Columbus.
Like many historic properties throughout metro Atlanta, the Cowen
Farmstead in Acworth-one of the few remaining antebellum houses in Cobb
County-is now threatened by deferred maintenance and impending development and
sprawl. In mid October, The Georgia Trust took ownership of the property, and
in the coming months will seek funds and in-kind donations to initiate
exterior restoration work on the National Register-listed property. Once the
property is stabilized, the Trust will sell it to a new owner who will
complete interior restoration.
For More Information Contact:
SOURCE The Georgia Trust