Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Presents Preservation Awards
Macon, Ga. April 12, 2019— For more than 40 years, the Georgia Trust has recognized preservation projects and individuals throughout Georgia who have made significant contributions to the field of historic preservation. The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation recently presented 29 awards recognizing the best of preservation in Georgia during its 42nd annual Preservation Awards ceremony in Thomasville, including two local awards for Mill Hill Community Arts Center and the Grand Opera House.
Excellence in Rehabilitation winners were: Kehoe Iron Works, Savannah; New Albany Hotel, Albany; Hotel Clermont, Atlanta; Sibley Mill Cotton Warehouse Building 4, Augusta; Zachariah Daniel House, Augusta; Sperry & Hutchinson Warehouse, East Point; Leesburg Train Depot, Leesburg; Mill Hill Community Arts Center, Macon; T.J. Ware House, Macon; Williams Manufacturing Company, Macon; Old Livery Stable, Madison; Empire Mills, Madison; Phi Gamma Hall at Oxford College at Emory, Oxford; Henry Ford Bakery, Richmond Hill; 12 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah; Historic Thomasville Post Office, Thomasville; H.H. Tift Building & Agricultural Research Building at the Tifton Campus of the University of Georgia, Tifton; and the Coleman Talley Offices, Valdosta.
Excellence in Preservation winners were Manuel’s Tavern, Atlanta; Sweetwater State Park Mill Ruins, Lithia Springs; Grand Opera House, Macon; and the McIntosh House at Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville.
“This year’s winners represent a tremendous dedication to restoring and revitalizing Georgia’s historic buildings and communities,” said Mark C. McDonald, president of The Georgia Trust. “We are proud to honor such deserving projects and individuals.”
About Mill Hill Community Arts Center
The Mill Hill Community Arts Center was built in 1920 by the Bibb Manufacturing Company as a gathering and performance space for employees living in the mill village. The building enjoyed activity for 40 years until the closure of the mill in the 1970s. The property was in danger of demolition by neglect when the Macon Arts Alliance stepped up to save the building by raising the funds for rehabilitation. During the two-year project, interior features of the craftsman style auditorium were restored, including an original coffered ceiling uncovered during the project. The building now serves as a pillar of the arts community and serves as the centerpiece of the East Macon Arts Village.
2019 Award: Excellence in Rehabilitation Awards recognize projects that make compatible use of a building through repair, alterations or additions while preserving features of the property that convey its historic value.
The Mill Hill Community Arts Center (MHCAC) is an historic 1920’s gathering space that has been transformed into a contemporary version of the original Bibb Mill Auditorium. Serving as the centerpiece of the Mill Hill: East Macon Arts Village, the 7,000 sq.ft. facility has undergone a $1.6 million restoration highlighting original architectural elements and features state of the art sound, lighting, and video capabilities. The facility is managed by Macon Arts Alliance.
About Grand Opera House
Originally constructed in 1884 as the Academy of Music, the Grand Opera House was renovated into its present-day appearance in 1905. The most recent rehabilitation to the Grand Opera House was completed in three phases, which involved updating The Grand’s stage, new seating throughout the entire main level and second-floor balcony, relocating all main floor administrative offices to the unused basement, expansion of the lobby and restrooms, and new, period-appropriate carpet and floor finishes. The third and final work phase, completed in 2018, was funded by a $5 million allocation of Macon-Bibb County SPLOST funds. Thanks to the support of Macon-Bibb County and the stewardship of Mercer University, this theatre remains a centerpiece for performing arts in Macon.
2019 Award: Awards for Excellence in Preservation recognize the appropriate preservation of historic resources and creative interpretations of historic sites.
About Georgia Trust
The Georgia Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund and raises awareness of other endangered historic resources through an annual listing of Georgia’s “Places in Peril.” The Trust recognizes preservation projects and individuals with its annual Preservation Awards and awards students and young professionals with academic scholarships, the Neel Reid Prize and Liz Lyon Fellowship. The Trust offers a variety of educational programs for adults and children, provides technical assistance to property owners and historic communities, advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts, and manages two house museums in Atlanta (Rhodes Hall) and Macon (Hay House).