The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is looking for a preservation-minded buyer to purchase the Elza Allmond House. Located near Vidalia, in Higgston, Ga. at 106 Allmond Street, the historic house is being sold through the Georgia Trust’s Revolving Fund program, which works to save historic buildings across the state by providing effective alternatives to demolition or neglect of architecturally and historically significant properties by promoting their rehabilitation and monitoring their preservation in perpetuity.
The house is available for $50,000, in addition to the cost to rehabilitate it. It is approximately 1,960 square feet nestled on 0.36 acres. The buyer is required to sign a Rehabilitation Agreement and all work done to the property must abide by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
The Elza Allmond House was constructed in the 1890s as a merchandise store with living quarters on the second floor. It is a two-story, two-family style dwelling with a masonry foundation. The building features a gable roof. The exterior walls are wood with a wood joist floor construction. Access to the second floor is through an exterior staircase. The building does not have an interior staircase and is currently set up as two separate units.
Overall, the building is in a deteriorated condition and will need rehabilitation to the exterior and interior, including updated systems, kitchens, and baths. The structural integrity of the exterior stairs and porches will need to be addressed. Property is sold “As-Is, Where-Is” meaning that it cannot be moved or demolished, and it is the buyer’s responsibility to make improvements that are compatible with the historic character of the property.
About Higgston, Ga.
Higgston is a small town, with a population of 314, located in Montgomery County between Macon and Savannah.
The timber industry and local sawmills were responsible for an influx of people moving to Higgston during the late 1800s, although the town did not receive its official charter until 1903. With three operational sawmills in the vicinity, the town of Higgston was booming. It was during this period of growth that the Elza Allmond House was built as a merchandise store with living quarters above it. The Seaboard Air Line Railroad came right through the town which led to the construction of a large train depot. The Elza Allmond House sat across the railroad tracks from the Higgston Depot and adjacent to the Thompson Hotel, although the hotel and depot no longer exist today. When the sawmills moved away, the town essentially became a ghost town, and shortly after the railroad moved three miles east which led to the development of Vidalia.
There was a revival of interest in Higgston when automobiles became the most widely used form of transportation and state Highway 29 was paved right through town. Following World War II, businesses in Higgston were thriving. Despite still being small in size and population, the town of Higgston was a very desirable place to live. In the 1960s the Elza Allmond House was converted into a rental property with two separate units which is how the building has been used most recently.
About the Georgia Trust’s Revolving Fund Program
The Georgia Trust’s Revolving Fund Program was established in 1990 to provide effective alternatives to demolition or neglect of architecturally and historically significant properties by promoting their rehabilitation and enabling owners of endangered historic properties to connect with buyers who will rehabilitate their properties.
The Georgia Trust accomplishes this goal by either accepting property donations or by purchasing options on endangered historic properties. The properties are then marketed nationally to locate buyers who agree to preserve and maintain the structures. Protective covenants are attached to the deeds to ensure that the historic integrity of each property is retained, and purchasers are required to sign rehabilitation agreements based on the work to be performed on the structure.
About the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
Celebrating 50 years, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation works for the preservation and revitalization of Georgia’s diverse historic resources and advocates their appreciation, protection and use.
As one of the country’s leading 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 recognizes preservation projects and individuals with its annual Preservation Awards and honors students and professionals with the Neel Reid Prize and Liz Lyon Fellowship. The Trust offers a variety of educational programs for adults and children, provides technical assistance to property owners and historic communities, advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts, and manages two house museums in Atlanta (Rhodes Hall) and Macon (Hay House). To learn more, visit www.georgiatrust.org.