A total of five properties made Historic Augusta's Endangered Properties List this year, compared to eight last year. And, though more buildings are added to the list, none are taken off until they are in the clear.
These buildings are a part of Augusta's history. They define the heart of the Garden City, but soon may not see a future.
Historic Augusta works to keep these properties alive by making public a list of endangered properties. Their goal every year is to preserve old buildings with city funds, tax credits, and grass roots efforts.
"Through raising awareness of them, we've seen conservation buyers in the past," says Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, who says the city helps Historic Augusta try to take these valuable buildings off the list. "We work with Historic Augusta to help identify the properties, to help guide property owners with regards to the rehabilitation process," the Mayor adds.
Historic Augusta Executive Director Erick Montgomery says he doesn't want to see any more buildings fall by the wayside. "There's nothing worse for a historic building than for it to be empty. If it's empty, then it begins to deteriorate...you don't do the day to day maintenance and vandals begin to get in," he says.
Montgomery says the preservation of these properties saves Augusta's rich history, and also, brings money to the city. The "poster child" for this year's list is the Old First Baptist Church on Greene Street. Montgomery is working with the owner now to come up with a plan to restore the church.
Montgomery's words of advice for any historic property owners. "Let us talk to you, let us come up with a plan, let's find a way to make this building make you money."
Historic Augusta has listed over 40 properties in the past eight years, and have taken 10 of those buildings off the list.
To view the entire list of endangered properties, click here.
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