AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s a new year for Historic Augusta, but as the city has aged, it means more properties have been added to next year’s list.
“These properties are often being neglected, the owners are not keeping them up. In some respects that’s why they’re getting our attention, because they are in serious disrepair, and in need of renovation,” said President George D. Bush.
The organization added 5 new properties to this year’s list.
The new properties include the “Green House” on Miller Street, two properties on Wrightsboro Road, the “Righton Robertson House” on McDowell Street, parts of the Sand Hills Neighborhood, and the Old First Baptist Church downtown.
While the attention is on the buildings, Executive Director Erick Montgomery says the other projects downtown are also significant.
“Just like the blighted houses, the trees need to be taken care of on a regular basis. That way you’re not taking so many down at the same time–take one down, put one back,” said Montgomery.
Historic Augusta also reported properties that were able to be saved. Those properties include the Bohler House on Phillips Street, and the Ninth Commercial Block on James Brown Boulevard.
The organization also provided updates on other properties previously deemed endangered. One of those is the Squeaky’s Tip Top landmark, which was listed in 2019. That building has continued to deteriorate, along with the Weed School on Mount Auburn Street.
Though the organization can’t save every building, some say the story of the property can’t be emphasized enough.
“Historic preservation is about everyone. Not just certain types of buildings, or a certain type of people. But for everyone, everyone’s story is important,” said Joyce Law.
In terms of the solution going forward, Bush says involvement from the community and government is key.
“We have to monitor, we have to identify, and then we have to try to reach out and raise awareness with the public to hopefully get some investment, and get the owners interested in putting money into these properties, renovating them, and returning them to the tax base,” said Bush.
The other item addressed in the press conference was the recently completed tax credit projects in the city.
The “Force-Jackson House”, the “Prontaut-Henry House”, the “Perkins-Cullum House”, the “McIntosh House”, and “Thomson Firehall”, were all completed.