Page N1.1 . 24 July 2002                     
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    Georgia Preservation Awards

    by ArchitectureWeek

    In May, 2002, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation selected 20 buildings to be honored for excellence in restoration and rehabilitation. One of the award-winning restoration projects was the childhood home of early 20th-century President Woodrow Wilson. The accurate restoration project gave the historic Augusta house the features and character it had during the Civil War and Reconstruction era.

    Now a museum, this house was built in 1859 as Presbyterian manse. Since its purchase in 1991, experts in architecture, history, archaeology, landscape history, and Victorian interior design have combined forces to recreate the authentic look of a sophisticated 1860s Georgia household. They repaired and reproduced damaged and missing millwork, repaired the plaster, and reproduced all the original paint colors.

    In contrast to "restoration," the guidelines for "rehabilitation," allow alterations and additions in the process of making the building reusable. One of the cited rehabilitation projects is the "Alapaha Colored School," which housed eleven grades of African-American children in north Berrien County. Originally the school was built in a two-story rectangular shape with four rooms.

    By July 2000, the school had greatly deteriorated, but because it was the only minority historic structure in the community, the City of Alapaha decided to rehabilitate it as a town library, community center, and museum. Original salvageable materials such as the pressed metal roof, porch posts, and nearly 30 percent of the pine novelty siding were maintained and reused. Some original windows could not be repaired, so replacements were constructed to match.

    A third project honored by the Georgia Trust is the Old Georgia State Capitol in Milledgeville. The exterior was restored to its original Gothic Revival Style of circa 1867. Now a multifunction structure, the Old State Capitol was where Georgia leaders made the decision to secede from the Union. Since then, most of the interior had been destroyed by fires. Preservation workers stripped the building to its original structure and replastered it. Using historical photographs, they restored the rotunda and legislative chamber to their original antebellum style. The architects' attention to detail is visible in the heart pine flooring, period colors and finishes, and reproduction of the building's original windows and light fixtures.

    The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation works to preserve and enhance the state's diverse historic resources. The organization markets endangered properties, provides design assistance to communities, teaches Georgia's educators how to interest students in history, and advocates for preservation funding.

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


    ArchWeek Image

    The boyhood home of President Woodrow Wilson in Augusta was one of the excellence-in-restoration award winners from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. A 1901 porch was removed and replaced with reconstructed antebellum portico and balconies.
    Photo: Courtesy The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation

    ArchWeek Image

    The Alapaha Colored School was rescued from deterioration and rehabilitated as a community center.
    Photo: Courtesy The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation

    ArchWeek Image

    The Atlanta firm of Lord, Aeck and Sargent led the preservation work of the Old Georgia State Capitol in Milledgeville, now owned by the Georgia Military College.
    Photo: Jonathan Hillyer


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