The Georgia Trust

SUCCESSFUL SALE OF GOLDSWORTHY HOUSE
‘REVOLVES’ ANOTHER GEORGIA HISTORIC RESOURCE

The Goldsworthy House before (above)
and after (below).

Another historic house was saved in 1999 thanks to The Georgia Trust’s Revolving Fund program. The sale of the Goldsworthy House, c. 1887, which backs up to a cemetery on Whitlock Avenue in Historic Marietta, took place on March 31.

The new home-owners, Marcia and Rob McClure, are excited about the future of the Goldsworthy House and what it holds in store for them. "We had never really thought about this," said Marcia McClure. The couple first heard about the house in November 1998. "Although we were always interested in older homes, it never really crossed our minds to buy and restore one."

However, their ultimate decision to purchase the house has put historic preservation into a new light for the McClures, and they have become fascinated with the process. Marcia searched her own personal history and realized that her mother restored a home after World War II. "When you grow up, you don’t think about the history of the house. Now things that have been out there have come into focus, and I can remember a local Columbus newspaper writing an article about my mom’s efforts."

The sale of the Goldsworthy House illustrates the importance of partnerships to the Trust. Loewen International, Inc., who owned the property and the land on which it sat, was contacted by local preservationists and eventually sold the home to The Georgia Trust for less than market value. "The sale put everyone involved in a win-win situation," said Charles Ward, controller for Loewen International, Inc. in Georgia. "We had no use for the home, so we sold it to the Trust with the idea in mind that they would, in turn, sell it to a second buyer. The sale was great for the buyer, local preservationists, The Georgia Trust and us."

The Cobb Preservation Foundation, Inc., had an interest in the property and convinced Loewen to consider selling the property at a reduced price. The Foundation’s goal was to preserve the Goldsworthy House by finding owners who would rehabilitate the property. The Foundation contacted the Revolving Fund of The Georgia Trust for the expertise needed to complete the transaction.

The Georgia Trust is committed to working with historic preservation groups around the state to help create a statewide network in order to identify and preserve historic endangered properties. "The preservation network can serve as eyes and ears for the Trust," said Frank W. White, Revolving Fund program director. "The Goldsworthy House effort illustrates our interest in working with local preservation groups to save important structures." The Trust hopes to establish similar relationships with other local groups to identify and save more buildings through the Revolving Fund program.

Both the Trust and the Foundation made significant contributions to this process. When the Revolving Fund sells a property, the Trust attaches a preservation covenant or easement that is recorded with the deed. This is a legal agreement between a preservation organization and the property owner to preserve in perpetuity the building facades and land surrounding the historic structure. The Trust has the responsibility of monitoring such easements. The Cobb Preservation Foundation identified the property and coordinated early work with the owners. The Foundation also undertook several tasks including cleaning in and around the house, making the house marketable and showing the house to prospective buyers. When the house was sold, The Georgia Trust and the Foundation divided proceeds. This provided the newly formed Foundation with financial support while meeting the primary objective of getting the home into secure hands.

"It worked out well," said White. "We benefited from their local efforts, and they benefited from our experience in ‘revolving’ properties."

Do you know of an endangered historic property in your town? The Georgia Trust may be able to help.
Contact Kate Ryan at 404-885-7817.

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