2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. Throughout the year, we’ll be looking back at a different aspect of the Trust’s history, legacy and significant impact the organization has had on Georgia’s historic places, starting with a glimpse at the organization’s beginnings.
In the early years, the Trust’s volunteer Board of Trustees laid the groundwork for a major preservation organization by developing ideas and raising money for individual projects. In the days when folks thought twice about making a long-distance phone call, working by statewide committee required hours of dedication to the task.
Throughout its history, the Trust has enjoyed a steady, incremental growth reflected in its membership roster, its programs and events, funding, staff and headquarters. As interest in preservation grew, so did membership. Late in 1974, the Trust opened its first office on Decatur’s historic square in the First National Bank Building and hired its first employee, Janet Pecha. In 1975, Trust President Mary Gregory Jewett announced a new headquarters, an 1880s townhouse at 9 Biltmore Place. The location between Spring Street and West Peachtree was within hailing distance of the Capitol and the legislature. Paid staff grew from one to four members from 1976 to 1977.