–Hello, i was wondering if you could help me. I live in a small town that needs saving. what should we do?
–I have been trying and trying to reach someone at this office and no one seems to be answering their phones.
–Terribly sorry, several people are out of the office today.
–Well! we are about to go look at the C House and would like to talk to someone to get an idea of all the historic loops we’ll have to jump through with purchasing a historic building, can you help us?
–Hello, Does the Trust buy houses?
I bought a house in this town years ago to save it, prevent the city from demolishing it, but I have no money and now the city is going to make me demolish it. just like city officials. they are trying to tear down all these houses, “eyesores,” the church just tore down 2 historic homes for an expanded parking lot. the City Council meeting is tomorrow—I’ll tear it down and build crappy apts on my property before i let them touch a blade of grass… ! [this is the gist]
It’s fairly depressing to listen to all these tales of woe from all corners of the state, to try and quell the anger, separate truths from self-righteousness and see the reality between. With K out of the office they’ve all been coming to me. Some are hopeful, possibly buyers for properties the Trust owns, possible easement donations from possible buyers of new historic properties but mostly it’s “how do I save it??!” This town has the officials on their side but no money, this town is threatening demolition of yet more historic and beautiful (if now decrepit) homes near the center of town. Several public buildings in another town need rehabilitating but they need to find funding, it’s a massive project, it always is. No money, or they say there’s no money. Why did you buy it to let it sit? Why can’t you sell it to a loving owner? why are you so angry? oh, I know the answer to that one. Calm down, you’ll never get anywhere with that attitude. But how can we keep up the fight?
Then I come home to the most recent Macon Beacon and the Chancellor Building is on the cover, for sale by the Macon Historical Society, no strings attached. Mr. B has recounted a brief history of the building for us which only makes me want it more but he ends by suggesting that it might be worth more in salvage (of what, bricks?) than it ever could produce after a rehabilitation. The sad thing, he’s probably right (not that that in and of itself is a reason to demolish it). What can we DO?? I want that building too.
So when these calls come in and I hear what’s playing out in Danville or Cordele, Clinton or Forsyth, how can I possibly come up with answers for them when I’m still asking my own, when my heart is in the same boat?? I know we can’t save it all, but some things are not worth letting go for a shoddy alternative.
How can we accomplish all this?