AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Erick Montgomery of Historic Augusta, Inc. just received the Mary Gregory Jewett Award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation at its 44th annual Preservation Award ceremony.
The award is the trust’s top honor for an individual.
“Well I’m very honored. Preservation has been my career since I graduated from college and I’ve been in Georgia ever since. I’ve been here in Augusta for 32 years, but I was in other places before that. So, I’m gratified, humbled and honored,” said Montgomery.
In his time at Historic Augusta, Montgomery has grown it into one of the largest non-profit historic preservation organizations in Georgia. Having been here 32 years, there’s lots of projects Montgomery has been involved in and his work speaks for itself.
“Well, one is the building we’re standing in here; the Joseph Lamar Boyhood Home, which is our headquarters. We acquired this in 1995 and got it rehabbed and moved into it in 2004. Next door is Woodrow Wilson’s boyhood home, which was another major project. We acquired that in ’91 and had it opened as a museum in 2001. So, these are major things. More recently, I think the Augusta Jewish Museum project is quite a victory for Historic Augusta and the Augusta community,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery has no plans of slowing down.
“A community knows itself by it’s history. If they don’t know their history, they don’t have a real self-awareness of themselves as a community. Historic preservation is all about that. It keeps the focus on on the history through the buildings, through the built environment that we all enjoy and recognize,” said Montgomery.
So you pretty much got the lifetime achievement award for what it is that you do. What’s next?
“Just keep on keeping on. We’ve got about 25 or so projects that we are helping with now; different rehabs in our town, mostly downtown. We’re just keeping those alive, advising people on what they can do and how to go about it,” said Montgomery.