Preservation Posts,  March 2016  | View in browser - If not displaying correctly

A Message from the Director

By:  Dr. David Crass
           Division Director & Deputy State
           Historic Preservation Officer

"The basic building block of good communications is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value."
                  - Unknown

In my experience, a significant portion (sometimes the majority) of lost productivity in an organization stems from miscommunication, or an outright lack of communication. I would even venture to say that in today’s electronic environment, the opportunity for miscommunication has actually gone up. How many times have you read an email and tried to figure out whether the sender was being intentionally rude, or was just in a hurry to send and didn’t bother to proofread before the message went out?

The bottom line is that every leader should be focused on facilitating good communications — and on building good relationships based on valuing each person’s individual gifts.

Earlier this month, I took the training to become an Emergenetics Associate. Emergenetics is a psychometric instrument that enhances communications and teamwork by analyzing both our thinking preferences and our behavioral preferences. We employed it last fall at an HPD management retreat, and it has proven to be very useful in our office interactions.

I’ll be rolling it out to the entire division over the next several months, and we will also use it in our new DNR Leadership Academy, which kicks off in April. Rachel Rice, Jennifer Dixon, and Rachel Black will be HPD’s students in this entering class. We are already starting to think through how we might use Emergenetics to enhance our relationships with our constituents across the state, so look for more on this in the future.

Speaking of communications, we have started preliminary planning to relaunch our statewide historic preservation conference in the spring of 2017.

You may remember that we took a hiatus for the National Trust meeting in Savannah 2014, and then had some personnel turnover that resulted in our putting it on hiatus again last year.

However, we are well underway in our planning, so look for a call for papers during the next few months, once we establish a venue and timeline. Allison Asbrock, our Outreach Program Manager and Certified Local Government Coordinator is leading this charge with Sarah Love and Lauren Ericson, and they’re doing a bang-up job of reinvigorating what I think is one of this office’s primary annual responsibilities.
HPD Celebrates Women's History Month

Working to Form a More Perfect Union

- Honoring Women in Public Service and Government

By: Lynn Speno

       National Register Specialist

What is Women’s History Month?  

In February 1980, Georgia’s own President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women's History Week. Seven years later, when petitioned by the National Women's History Project, March was officially declared Women’s History Month, after Congress passed Public Law 100-9.

In honor of this year’s Women’s History Month theme – “Honoring Women in Public Service and Government” – and the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, we recognize some of those who have played key roles in the movement. 

The historic preservation movement was spearheaded by women from its beginning. Ann Pamela Cunningham, a South Carolinian, is credited with being at the forefront of the movement, due to her efforts in the mid-19th century to save Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.   

Mary Gregory Jewett, left, and Dr. Liz Lyon, right

In Georgia, Mary Gregory Jewett was a public servant who played a key role in helping to preserve Georgia’s history. She was named Executive Secretary of the Georgia Historical Commission (forerunner to the Historic Preservation Division) in 1960. Following the passage of NHPA in 1966, she became Georgia's first state historic preservation officer. Jewett served in that capacity until her retirement in 1973. She also served as the first president of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, which she helped establish in 1973. Jewett’s legacy lives on within the Historic Preservation Division, which now operates out of the Jewett Center for Historic Preservation at Panola Mountain State Park.
One other woman has headed our division: Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Lyon.  Lyon served our office in various capacities from 1976 until her retirement in 1994, when she retired as HPD’s Division Director. Under her leadership, our office was elevated from Section level to Division status. Lyon continues to serve our office in her role as advisor to the Georgia National Register Review Board.
Today, our office continues in the tradition of women in historic preservation and public service. In fact, a majority of the staff are women. They are:
Our National Register and Survey team – (from left) Stephanie Cherry-Farmer, Denise Messick, Lynn Speno, and Laura Beth Ingle – can provide expertise on National Register nominations, GNAHRGIS, and survey questions.

Molly McLamb, left, Rachel Rice, and Carole Moore, right, oversee the grants administration and tax credit programs.

(From left) Meg Richardson, Barbara Fisher, Katie Twomey, Leslie Spencer, and Jennifer Dixon administer all parts of our regulatory compliance with Section 106 and other environmental review aspects of our office.

Standing, from left: Leslie Johansen, Emma Mason, Sarah Love, and Jennifer Weber (along with her dog, Rhea). Seated, from left:  Debbie Wallsmith, Rachel Black, Jennifer Bedell, and Aimee Bouzigard provide archaeological expertise and museum curation experience throughout the state.

Kayla Morris, left, Allison Asbrock, and Lauren Ericson, right, work with public affairs, the Certified Local Government, Georgia Centennial Farm, and African American outreach programs. 

Kim Feagler (seated), Dona McKenzie, and Susan Pursell, right, administer all of our operations, including budget, payroll, and human resources.

For more background about the history of HPD’s office, including photos of the many women who have worked for HPD through the years, please see prior Preservation Posts articles, beginning in September 2009. As always, we are here to serve you and your preservation needs.  Give us a call!

Legislation Spurs Economic Development

- New Tax Credit laws proving a boon for Georgia

The Georgia Power Plant, along Savannah's riverfront, is one of 15  major projects to qualify for tax incentives under a revised tax credit law

By: Carole Moore

        Tax Incentives and Grants Coordinator

The Georgia Historic Preservation Division (HPD) is pleased to report that Georgia HB 308, officially the “Georgia Prosperity Through Preservation” bill, signed into law last year, has sparked significant developer interest in undertaking large preservation tax incentive projects, and is already producing a significant positive economic impact in Georgia. 

A previous 2009 tax credit statute had allowed a Georgia income tax credit of up to $300,000 for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing properties. The revised 2015 statute now allows for two additional categories of up to $5 million, or up to $10 million if certain criteria are met, for projects completed in the years 2017-2021. The credits awarded are, however, limited to $25 million for each of the five years. 

Earlier this year, HPD and the Georgia Department of Revenue received applications for the new, higher credit from 15 developers/property owners. These 15 projects are planned for completion in the years 2017 and 2018, with total estimated rehabilitation expenses of $266.8 million! 

Based on their estimated expenses, the projects are potentially eligible for Georgia income tax credits totaling $55 million.  

According to economic formulas used in HPD’s 2011 publication "Good News in Tough Times," these new rehabilitation projects will potentially create 4,829 jobs and generate approximately $200 million in salary and wages for Georgia workers, in the roughly two-year period it will take to complete the projects. The projects may also create 2,849 non-preservation related jobs.

The collection of projects are located throughout the state – five in Atlanta, four in Augusta, three in Savannah, and one each in Athens, Macon, and Lookout Mountain. The resources affected were historically office/retail buildings, hotels, schools, hospitals, a theater, a manufacturing plant, a dairy, and a power plant. Through their respective rehabilitations, each will have new, adaptive uses.

The 1906 Chandler Building's front entrance, left, and stairway, right. 

Two prominent projects involve hotel conversions, which reflect both the influence of tourism – Georgia’s second-largest industry – and a national lodging industry trend to look for older buildings with character. By doing so, the lodging industry hopes “to attract visitors who are looking for more than a cookie-cutter experience,” according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article published March 12, 2016.   

The landmark 1906 Candler Building is an excellent example of this type of project. The building’s original and continued use has been as an Atlanta downtown office building, but it is being rehabilitated into a luxury 265-room hotel for $32 million. Its assets include Tiffany windows and a Georgia white marble staircase. 

The Georgia Power Plant (or Plant Riverside) in Savannah is an unusually innovative, but challenging, example of this adaptive-use lodging trend. The 1912 industrial style brick building (see photo at top of story) has been empty since it was decommissioned in 1964, but is now being rehabilitated into a luxury riverfront hotel for $80 million. The rehabilitation will include the repair of large arched historic windows and a roof-top skylight, as well as the the addition of a rooftop deck and riverfront terrace, a live entertainment venue, and ballrooms. The City of Savannah is spending $14 million to expand its Riverwalk pedestrian boulevard to the new hotel. Because the project is expected to create 700 to 800 permanent jobs, it is eligible for the higher $10 million credit. In a March 4, 2014 interview with Savannah Now, developer Richard Kessler discussed the economic impacts of his project.  

“You’re looking at 800 new jobs; you’re looking at huge tax revenue; you’re looking at a positive ripple effect all the way down River Street that’s going to raise the tides for everybody,” he said.
Two other projects began as hotels, historically, but will also find new uses. 

Atlanta’s iconic and stately Clermont Hotel was built in 1924 as the Bonaventure Arms Apartments, but became a hotel in 1939. Located on Ponce de Leon Avenue,  not far from the celebrated Ponce City Market, it is currently being rehabilitated into residential apartments for a cost of $19 million. The popular Clermont Lounge nightclub, located in the basement of the building, will remain in business.

In north Georgia’s Dade County, the Tudor Revival Lookout Mountain Hotel, which features an impressive 400-foot tower, was built in 1928 as a luxury vacation spot. Designed by architect R.H. Hunt, many of the building’s original features remain intact, including light fixtures, stairways, and stone fireplaces. The hotel was converted to Covenant College in 1964, and is now undergoing a $16.4 million rehabilitation for its continued use as an educational facility. 

Macon's A.L. Miller School will soon provide low-income, muti-family housing

Two of the 15 projects were schools, which is  a popular type of resource for adaptive use. The A.L. Miller School project, located in Macon’s Napier Heights neighborhood, will spend $11 million rehabilitating the 1930 Collegiate Gothic Revival style high school and adjacent 1940 International Style junior high school into low-income multi-family housing.  

In Atlanta, the John F. Faith Grammar School, located on Memorial Drive, was designed by prominent Georgia architects A. Ten Eyck Brown and William J.J. Chase, and built in 1922 in the Romanesque Revival style. The school has undergone several incarnations during its ownership by Atlanta Public Schools through the years, but the building has always functioned as a school until 2012.  The current developer will spend $7 million converting the building into an arts facility for the community.

Three other projects were built as hospitals, and are now being rehabilitated into residential housing.  

The Mary Telfair Hospital for Indigent Women (also known as the Telfair Arms Apartments) in Savannah was built in 1886 in the Queen Anne style, with an annex added in 1927. The building underwent two previous historic rehabilitations in 1985 and 1999 for senior housing. The current $4.7 rehabilitation also will offer senior housing. 

In Augusta, two buildings within the Charlie Norwood V.A. Medical Center are being rehabilitated as low-income housing for a total of $15.2 million. The long, masonry, one-story Building 7 was constructed in 1923 as a long-term care facility for tuberculosis patients, while the brick, three-story H-shaped Building 76 was built at the end of the Veterans Bureau-era in 1945 for neuro-psychiatric patients.  

The Miller Theater, in Augusta, Ga.

Movie theaters are another type of historic resource that adapts well to expanded or new uses, such as performing arts or community centers. Successful examples in Georgia include Toccoa’s Ritz Theater, Manchester’s President Theatre, and the Tybee Theater on Tybee Island. 

Similarly, Augusta’s Miller Theater, built in 1940, is being rehabilitated at an expense of $18.8 million, into a performing arts venue for the Augusta Symphony Orchestra. The movie theater retains many of its original Art Deco features, including a circular marquee, ticket booth, entry doors with semi-circular glass openings, terrazzo floors, the balcony, and the imposing stage/ proscenium in the auditorium.   

The remaining projects will be rehabilitated into retail and/or commercial space and include the 1920 Southern Manufacturing Company mill complex in Athens ($28 million), the 1820 Gibbons Block building in Savannah ($2.9 million),  the 1949 Atlanta Dairies ($8.9 million), and the 1923 Kiser Building ($4.9 million,) also in Atlanta.       

HPD looks forward to working with these rehabilitation projects, but also to seeing developer interest in submitting new projects for completion in the years 2019-2021!

Folk Ways of Ibo Landing – a path to consider

- An in-depth look at the story of Ibo Landing

By: Leslie Johansen

       Compliance Archaeologist

The story of the Ibo published in last month’s Preservation Posts article "Black Heritage of the Golden Isles," written by Kalya Morris, reminds me of an appeal made by Tiya Miles during her lecture at the 2016 Ossabaw Island Foundation Symposium "Coastal Nature, Coastal Culture: Environmental Histories of the Georgia Coast."

In her lecture, Miles pondered the possibility of stories and oral traditions regarding the Ibo on St. Simons Island being utilized as preservation tools to halt encroaching development. Perhaps there is a case to be made that the combination of a historical event occurring at Ibo Landing and the continued folk ways tying community, tradition and customs to place, does provide potential for consideration. 

Ibo Landing (also known as Igbo or Ebos Landing), situated on St. Simons' Dunbar Creek, appears to the naked eye as an idyllic, seemingly insignificant, patch of land on the marsh’s edge. The Landing, though, holds great value to the local Harrington Community, to Gullah-Geechee, to African American history, and to the wider global community of Ibo descendants.

According to oral tradition, at this landing, 75 Ibo Africans, who were captured and sold into slavery, chose to walk, shackled together, into the waters. Rather than live in the bondage of slavery, they chose to return home. They walked together into the marsh chanting "The waters brought us, the waters will take us home.” Together, they walked to their deaths.  

Details of the story have been recorded in contemporary letters, journals and newspaper articles. According to those sources, during the spring of 1803 a group of 75 Africans from Igboland (or present day Republic of Nigeria) were captured and brought to Savannah, where they were sold as slaves to plantation owners John Couper and Thomas Spalding. It was shortly after the schooner York landed on St. Simons Island, when the Ibo chose to walk into the marsh, rather than accept their fate in slavery.

According to research by H.A. Sieber, ten to 12 of the Ibo drowned in Dunbar Creek. Their bodies were recovered by Roswell King and the Captain Peterson. The remaining survivors were recaptured and taken to Sapelo and Cannon’s Point, on St. Simons Island; their descendants still live in Harrington Community, on the island (Sieber, H. A., 2003). 

Through African folk ways and oral tradition, this story has been told and retold, embellished with each telling - passing from generation to generation through the past 200 years, connecting place to a historic event of courage, determination, and the power of hope and free-will. Ibo Landing became connected to African roots and cosmology through associations with the myths of Flying Africans and the myths of Water Walkers. "Drums and Shadows," a text published in 1930 by The Georgia Writer’s Project, details some of the folklore and oral traditions of the local Harrington Community.    

Laura Gadson's "Reception at Ibo Landing" (Quilt), left, and Donovan Nelson's Ibo Landing No.7 (Pen and Ink) were inspired by the story of the Ibo. 

Ibo Landing has influenced the work of numerous African American authors and artists over the years, connecting communities beyond the coastal Georgia landscape. Influence of the story of the Ibo can be seen in Wendell Logan’s song "The Ballad of Ebo" (1964), Toni Morrison’s novel "Song of Solomon" (1977), and Paule Marshall’s novel "Praisesong for the Widow" (1983). Retelling of the story also appeared in Alex Hayley’s 1976 novel "Roots" and Julie Dash’s 1991 feature-length film "Daughters of the Dust". Various artists such as Laura Gadson and Donovan Nelson have depicted images of Ibo Landing in their artwork. And, local area schools have incorporated the history of Ibo Landing into their history curricula.

This continued tradition of story has transcended African diaspora, reforming connections between the local Harrington Community to Igboland, Nigeria, as well as to Ibo descendants around the globe. In September 2002, the St. Simons African-American Heritage Coalition (SSAAHC) organized a two-day event that included lessons on Igbo history and customs, followed by a procession to the drowning site. According to the SSAACH website, more than 75 people from around the world gathered at Ibo Landing to "designate the area a holy ground and to give the freed slaves peace." Chukwuemeka Onyesoh, of Nigeria, came to ‘evoke their spirits and take them back to Igboland," the story reads. This oral tradition and connection between Ibo Landing, African spiritualism and the wider global Ibo community continues today through the non-profit group Ebo (Igbo) Landing Project, and the Igbo Landing Project Facebook group.  .  

While "Ebo Landing" is a documented Historic Resource included in the Glynn County Board of Commissioners' 2009 Historic Resources Survey Report, it is not a listed site in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Often times, places like Ibo Landing, which do not have physical archaeological evidence or associated historic structures, are overlooked as having potential for eligibility for listing in the NRHP. Though, many argue sites like Ibo Landing merit further study for their potential eligibility, due to associations with events that have made a significant contribution to the broader patterns of our history.  

With the continued existence of folk ways, oral traditions, literature and art sustained through communities and groups of individuals around the world, Ibo Landing has become a place of cultural significance. In addition to possible consideration for eligibility for the NRHP, a case may be made that Ibo Landing merits additional consideration for evaluation as a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) – which is defined in National Register Bulletin 38 as a site that is “eligible for inclusion in the NRHP because of its association with cultural practices or beliefs of a living community, that are rooted in that community’s history, and are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community.”

For additional information, and further reading, please visit:

Recent News & Announcements

* Job Announcement *
HPD is currently seeking candidates for an African American Program Coordinator. The chosen applicant, in addition to other duties, will serve as HPD's liaison to the Georgia African American Historic Preservation Network (GAAHPN). For details, see Page 7 of the most recent Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources Vacancy Announcement.

Georgia has two new Certified Local Governments!
The cities of Euharlee and Villa Rica have been announced as Georgia's 93rd and 94th Certified Local Governments. Press releases, and additional details will be availble in April.  

2016 Centennial Farms - Deadline to apply approaching
May 1, 2016 is the deadline to apply for the Georgia Centennial Farm Program. The Centennial Farm program (est. 1993) distinguishes family farms that have contributed to preserving Georgia's agricultural history by maintaining working farms for more than 100 years. The program has recognized 482 farms around the state.  Each year, qualifying farms are recognized at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia. 

There are three ways to be recognized: 

Centennial Heritage Farm
- Owned continuously by members of the same family for 100 years or more
- Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Centennial Farm
- Does not require continual family ownership
- Farms must be at least 100 years old
- Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Centennial Family Farm
- Owned continuously by members of the same family for 100 years or more
- Not listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Families interested can find additional information and an application on our website; or, they can contact us by phone at 770.389.7868

Upcoming Events

April 12, 2016 - Manager's Guide to the NRHP program - Webinar
Are you a Georgia Main Street Manager or interested in learning more about the National Register of Historic Places? Do you want to garner a better understanding of terminology like eligibility, period of significance and criteria; or do you have downtown commercial owners interested in listing, and associated financial incentives?  The webinar presentation will be delivered by Stephanie Cherry-Farmer, Program Manager of the National Register and Survey Program at HPD, and Leigh Burns, Education and Outreach Coordinator at DCA, about the National Register of Historic Places Program in Georgia and how you at Main Street can benefit from the program locally. There will be time for a Q&A session. Those interested may Register Here

April 12-14, 2016 - Section 106 Seminar - Atlanta
Join the National Preservation Institute for an advanced Section 106 seminar regarding memoranda of agreement and programmatic agreements under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Understand this part of the consultation process, learn key aspects that should be included, and appreciate the importance of clear writing. Review the available tools, guidelines, alternatives — and non-alternatives — to reach a favorable conclusion to the process. Learn more here

April 30, 2016 - Historic House & Garden Pilgrimage - Newnan
Tour Oak Grove in Coweta County, when the Garden Club of Georgia hosts its annual Historic House and Garden Pilgrimage fundraiser, in support of its Historic Landscape and Garden program.The Garden Club partners with HPD, the Southeast Regional Office of the National Park Service, the Cherokee Garden Library at the Atlanta History Center, and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDecD) to provide these grants. Applications for the 2016 grant cycle are due Aug. 1, 2016. Interested applicants may contact Carole Moore, HPD's Tax Incentives and Grants Coordinator, at 770-389-7848 or For more information, visit the Garden Club of Georgia website

May 7, 2016 - Archaeology Day - Stone Mountain
In Celebration of Archaeology Month in Georgia, New South Associates will host its annual "Archaeology Day in the Village" event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, on May 7. Several events, designed to be both fun and educational, have been scheduled. For details, and to learn more, view the Archaeology Day flyer

May 20-21, 2016 - SGA Spring Meeting - St. Marys
The Society for Georgia Archaeology has announced its Spring “Meeting” will be held on Friday, May 20-21, 2016 in St. Marys & Cumberland Island, Ga., as part of 2016 Archaeology Month celebrations. The theme for this year’s Archaeology Month is “Dynamic Borders: The Archaeology of Cumberland Island – exploring pre-contact and historic archaeological sites across Cumberland Island, the dynamic environment of a coastal barrier island and the impacts of climate change to Georgia’s coastal resources." Both SGA  members and non-members are invited. For more details, please visit the Spring Meeting Information Page.

Want to Contribute?

- Submit a Guest Article

Preservation Posts is published to inform the public about historic preservation issues and developments from the perspective of the SHPO. In keeping with that purpose, HPD has inaugurated a new policy of occasionally soliciting guest articles that are directly related to our statutorily mandated programs. Please note that we do not publish opinion pieces. We also retain editorial control as well as the right to reject any submission.
To pitch or submit a piece, or ask questions concerning an idea, email HPD Public Affairs Coordinator Jeff Harrison at


Title image: The historic covered bridge in the City of Euharlee, which spans Euharlee Creek. Euharlee was just named Georgia's most recent Certified Local Government. Details, and a press release, will be available in April. 
Copyright © 2016 DNR Historic Preservation Division, All rights reserved.

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