Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Annual Meeting & Ramble, Georgia Statewide Preservation Conference Set for Macon, March 31-April 3

Guest will tour city’s historic homes and buildings

Media Contacts: Traci Clark, 404-885-7802,
Katey Brown, 478-742-8155,
Helen Talley-McRae, 404-651-5268,

ATLANTA, Feb. 14, 2011— The rich historic culture of Macon, Ga., the city known as the “song and soul of the South,” will be showcased during the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Annual Meeting & Spring Ramble and the Georgia Statewide Preservation Conference March 31 – April 3.

For four days, Trust members, guests, preservation professionals and others interested in saving and preserving Georgia’s historic places will tour more than 20 historic sites and private homes in the area, attend preservation seminars, and recognize top projects throughout the state with awards of excellence for preservation.

The Georgia Statewide Preservation Conference, the first segment of the event, will be held March 31-April 1. The Georgia Trust and the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources once again will join forces to co-sponsor an annual statewide preservation conference, Good News in Tough Times!

“I am so pleased that we are able to offer this event for our preservation constituencies this year after a six-year hiatus,” says HPD Director Dr. David Crass.  “From 1987-2005 our organizations successfully collaborated to offer valuable information, training and networking opportunities for preservationists throughout Georgia,” he adds.

The keynote address will be delivered at Thursday morning’s opening plenary session by Donovan Rypkema, who is recognized nationally as a leading expert in the economics of preserving historic structures, providing ongoing consulting services to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and its National Main Street Center since 1983.  Mr. Rypkema will share the results of a recently completed study on the economic benefits of preservation in Georgia.  The session starts at 11 a.m. in the Douglass Theatre.

Conference sessions will focus on topics including preservation tax incentives, sustainability, heritage tourism and the Civil War, 20th century African American schools, Ranch Houses, historic theaters, and the Trust’s Places in Peril program.  Other conference co-sponsors are the Georgia Humanities Council and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Registration for the Georgia statewide preservation conference is $99 and includes admission to all sessions, a reception on Thursday evening; continental breakfast on Friday; light refreshments on both days; and a complimentary copy of the publication Good News in Tough Times: Historic Preservation and the Georgia Economy.

Friday evening, guests will attend the 34th Annual Preservation Awards ceremony, which salutes projects and individuals for exceptional work in the fields of restoration, rehabilitation and preservation throughout the state. The awards ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Douglass Theatre, a historic theater that hosted musical legends such as Ma Rainey, Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. Following the ceremony, guests will dine inside the grand ballroom at the beautifully restored Armory Ballroom, the first permanent home of the Macon Volunteers, a volunteer military unit that doubled as a civic organization.

The Georgia Trust will hold its Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 2, at 10 a.m. at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church. Meeting attendees will hear an update on the “State of Preservation in Georgia” from Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of The Georgia Trust. The Trust will also announce during the meeting its three scholarship winners and the recipient of the J. Neel Reid Prize, a $4,000 fellowship for travel study given to an emerging Georgia architect.

One of the most highly anticipated components of the weekend is the “Spring Ramble,” an exciting way for guests to tour Macon’s historic architectural treasures and meet others interested in preservation. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, guests will have the opportunity to explore gorgeous downtown landmark homes, exciting loft projects, revitalized intown neighborhoods, and the picturesque outlying neighborhoods of Stanislaus and Shirley Hills. Guests will tour more than 20 historic private residences and other historic sites, including the rarely seen Villa Albacini, an exquisite 1922 house modeled after the Baroque Chapel of the Villa Arvedi in Italy, which hasn’t been open to the public for over 25 years.

As the former home to Southern Rock pioneers, the Allman Brothers, the Ramble will also feature special tours of the Big House Museum, where members of the band lived early in their career; Capricorn Recording Studio, where the band recorded hit records; and Rose Hill Cemetery, the final resting place of two of its members.

The weekend ends with a Sunday brunch at the Woodruff House, a beautifully restored Greek Revival house donated to Mercer University by George Woodruff, brother of former Coca-Cola president Robert Woodruff.  Guests will also enjoy a special behind-the-scenes tour of Hay House, a property of The Georgia Trust, featuring all seven levels of the mansion, including its spring house and newly restored dining room.

“We are excited about introducing our members and guests to the best of Macon’s oldest historic neighborhoods.  The residents of Macon have taken great pride in preserving and showcasing the architectural treasures of the area,” said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of The Georgia Trust.

The Georgia Trust’s Annual Meeting and Spring Ramble is made possible by generous support from the Knight Fund for Macon of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.  Co-hosts are Hay House and Historic Macon Foundation.  Other partners include the Bibb County Board of Commissioners, City of Macon, College Hill Corridor, Douglass Theatre, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Humanities Council, Macon Bibb County CVB, Mercer University, NewTown Macon, Ocmulgee National Monument, Wesleyan College and Walter Elliott at

Many registration options are available, ranging in prices from $40 to $250.  Guests under 40 can enjoy a discounted rate of $100 for the Annual Meeting, Ramble and all scheduled meals. For more information on the Trust’s Annual Meeting & Spring Ramble and the Georgia Statewide Preservation Conference or to register, visit or call (404) 885-7812.

About the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
Founded in 1973, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is one of the country’s largest statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations.
The Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund and raises awareness of other endangered historic resources through an annual listing of Georgia’s “Places in Peril.” The Trust helps revitalize downtowns by providing design and technical assistance in 102 Georgia Main Street cities; trains Georgia’s teachers in 63 Georgia school systems to engage students in discovering state and national history through their local historic resources; and advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts. To learn more, visit

About the Historic Preservation Division
The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources serves as Georgia’s state historic preservation office. HPD’s mission is to promote the preservation and use of historic places for a better Georgia.  HPD’s programs include archaeology protection and education, environmental review, grants, historic resource surveys, tax incentives, the National Register of Historic Places, community planning and technical assistance. To learn more, visit