FOSTER-THOMASON-MILLER HOUSE – SOLD TO THE CONSERVANCY!
On May 9, 2018, the Conservancy purchased its first “endangered property:” the Foster-Thomason-Miller House and the next door Main Street lot (only 1.8 acres of the twelve-acre property). This property was listed on the GA Trust’s Places in Peril in 2018.
Stabilization has begun, and you should be seeing a few changes on the property in the coming weeks. Though we have hired a contractor to conduct the stabilization work, we invite you to join us in your spare time to help us bring back the landscape. If you’re interested in whacking and cutting and mowing, please contact us. We’ll put you to work!
DONATE TODAY TO HELP SAVE THIS AND OTHER ENDANGERED PROPERTIES IN MORGAN COUNTY
We still need to raise $220,000 – these funds will go directly to purchasing and stabilizing the Foster-Thomason-Miller House. Once the fundraising effort is complete, we will be able to pay of our loan (early we hope, to save on interest). Please contribute to this effort today!
WHY DID WE PURCHASE THE FOSTER-THOMASON-MILLER HOUSE?
The Foster-Thomason-Miller House and surrounding twelve acres is listed as the top priority on the Conservancy’s endangered properties list due to its historic and architectural significance, aesthetic importance to Main Street, and its current dilapidated state. The property is also listed on the City of Madison’s Greenprint five separate times for 1) natural areas/habitat protection, 2) riparian areas, 3) agrarian landscapes, 4) potential trails, and 5) as a Historic Landmark, and has been at the center of the recent Foster Park rezoning controversy.
In 2001 the rear addition of the Foster-Thomason-Miller House burned, but the house remains structurally sound and intact, despite being vacant for many years. In a recent site visit with a historic preservation contractor, it was discovered that the structure was constructed with furniture-grade oak. Never had he seen such fine work and materials used in the structure of a home – in the architectural details, yes, but not in the structure. We believe it continues to be the most “Elegant Home” (as reported in the Madisonian on December 1, 1883) in all of Morgan County.
Constructed in 1883 directly on top of the foundation of the Georgia Female College which burned a year earlier, the house is particularly exemplary of the Aesthetic Movement and offers a rare and authentic view of Victorian splendor. Its historical significance is preeminent.
It is time to save this property from further decay, and we are optimistic that the Conservancy can do just that through its new Endangered Properties Revolving Fund. But we need your help.
Donate today to help us secure this and future endangered properties!
The goal of the Endangered Properties Revolving Fund is to secure endangered properties, stabilize them, and then market them to a conservation buyer who will agree to rehab the building to certain standards. This model is used by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Savannah, Historic Augusta, and other non-profits utilizing revolving funds.
WHAT IS A REVOLVING FUND AND HOW DID THE CONSERVANCY GET HERE?
A revolving fund is a financing tool used traditionally in historic preservation projects. In Morgan County’s case, the Endangered Properties Revolving Fund is uniquely designed to protect historic structures AND openspace. Once capitalized, the fund will be used to acquire properties (one property at a time) that include both historic structures and undeveloped land through donation, purchase, or option agreements, then market/sell those properties to conservation buyers, and then reinvest the proceeds back into the revolving fund for the next project.
Thanks to a $500,000 matching grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation, over $260,000 donated by Conservancy members and friends, and a $250,000 grant from The 1772 Foundation, we are well on our way to reaching our goal of having a $1,250,000 Endangered Properties Revolving Fund.
Now we need YOU to donate to this Morgan County legacy. Every dollar you contribute will be used over and over (revolving from project to project).
Because the capital in this fund revolves from project to project, this Endangered Properties Revolving Fund will not only protect farms, forests, and front porches for this generation, it will be a tool that future generations can use to sustain their Morgan County.
To learn more about this Endangered Properties Revolving Fund, read the feasibility study here.
If you would like to know more about the Endangered Properties Revolving Fund or support our efforts in developing this fund, please contact us.
WE THANK THE FOLLOWING DONORS FOR MAKING THIS PROGRAM A REALITY: