Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 21

'Georgia is one of the leaders
in the country for preserving
its historic sites.' -Mark McDonald,
THE GEORGIA TRUST

president and CEO of the Georgia Trust

DENNIS LOVELLO / THE GEORGIA TRUST

says. "For instance, in growing metro areas like Atlanta, Savannah and Athens, we have development threats. Once you get
out in the countryside, the challenges are different, like a lack of
funds and economic activity to support historic buildings."
But collaborating with the Georgia Trust is invaluable, says
Christine McCauley Watts, executive director of the MadisonMorgan Conservancy, now in its 20th year.
"The trust mentored us through the development of our
endangered-properties revolving fund
that we started in 2017," she says, referring
to the program that lends funds to purchase and restore properties before
selling them to recoup the investment.
"And having some of our properties
named on the Places in Peril list has
brought attention to them."
Erick Montgomery, executive director of Historic Augusta, has appreciated
the trust's support of local efforts across
the state, such as the campaign to save the
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace Garden.
"If we need their expertise on a legal or preservation issue,
we can call them," he says. "They tend to be more hands-on in
smaller places that don't have a staff. They also have an awards
program that brings attention to and helps our local projects.
Last year, the Miller Theater's [Augusta] $23 million renovation
won a top award, and though, as with most nonprofits, it didn't
mean a cash award, it was nice to get that recognition."
Another important element of the trust's work is its attention to legislation.
"The trust monitors what's going on with the legislature,
and they let us know if we need to be aware of anything that affects preservation," Montgomery says. "Without their support, it

DENNIS LOVELLO / THE GEORGIA TRUST

THE GEORGIA TRUST

Left: Sparta residents
gathered in 2016 for a
rededication ceremony of
the Hancock County
Courthouse. Right: The
historic courthouse
appeared on the Georgia
Trust's 2013 Places in Peril
list and suffered significant
fire damage in 2014.

Above: The Eleanor Roosevelt School in Warm
Springs. Left: Mark McDonald, president and
CEO of the Georgia Trust, celebrates with
Debron Williams (right) and his sister, Voncher
Williams (left), who purchased the Roosevelt
School through the trust's revolving fund.
The family will rehabilitate the school into
an agricultural learning center.

would be hard for us to get a lot of leverage in the legislature."
Local preservation groups can seek assistance from the
trust's staff to find resources and grants, to organize work
parties and to keep up-to-date on preservation news. The trust
also provides training workshops.
"We offer about five different classes on topics like how to
save buildings, fundraising and how to make buildings more
energy-efficient," McDonald says. "We even have one for
Realtors on what's historic and what's not."
The trust also oversees a revolving fund program that often
means the difference between demolition and preservation for
significant properties. The goal is to connect property ownwww.georgiamagazine.org

21


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Georgia Magazine - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - May 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 8
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Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover4
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