The Georgia Trust


Allenhurst, Liberty County

The Dunlevie House received the Marguerite Williams Award, presented annually to the project that has had the greatest impact on preservation in the state from The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation at its 33rd annual Preservation Awards ceremony April 9 in Rome, Ga. The vernacular style house also received an award in the Excellence in Rehabilitation category.

The History
The 1910 house was built for Herbert Dunlevie, the treasurer of the Dunlevie Lumber Company, one of Allenhurst’s major employers of the time, and mimicked the neighboring house belonging to the lumber company’s founder.

The Project
In 2007, historic preservation graduate students from the Savannah College of Art and Design produced an assessment and recommendations for the rehabilitation of the house. The recommendations and subsequent work included the removal of non-historic additions, the replacement of non-historic doors and windows with more historically appropriate ones, repair and restoration of the front porch and breezeway connecting the house and its original detached kitchen, an upgraded HVAC system, upgraded plumbing, and a wheelchair-accessible ramp.

Through a partnership between the D.C. Miller Trust and the Georgia Land Trust, the Dunlevie House was rehabilitated into the Jan and Dennis A. Waters, Jr. Family Education and Welcoming Center. Members of the community and local artisans also donated materials and furnishings for the house.

In October, 2009, the Dunlevie House hosted a grand opening to coincide with the Town of Allenhurst’s centennial celebrations.  In a town of roughly 700, the house’s grand opening attracted 500 visitors.  Since then, the fully rehabilitated house and surrounding 1,500 acres of protected wetlands and wildlife area serve as an educational and nature center. The site hosts local church groups, garden clubs, environmental programs, and 4-H groups.

Project manager was Joe Rothwell. The architect was Lominack Kolman Smith Architects of Savannah. Contractor was John Moore, Pier and Beam Construction, also of Savannah.

“It is inspiring to recognize an extensive rehabilitation project that was successfully completed on a modest budget during these financially challenging times,” said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of The Georgia Trust. “This project, with its preservation partnerships and its community outreach, serves as an excellent example of successful preservation to all communities throughout Georgia.”



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