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What was old is now new

In recognition of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Month, Boyle Landmark Trust is sponsoring a free, two-day public symposium called, “Reuse. Reinvest. Revitalize” today and Friday to help explain what its newly formed revolving fund means to the community, and how it can benefit property owners as well as the county tax rolls. Leading the discussion will be Mark McDonald, president and CEO of the Georgia Trust.

When McDonald rolled into town Wednesday afternoon (yesterday) escorted by Barbara Hulett, emeritus board president of the BLT, he immediately toured an historic building currently being restored by owner Tim Montgomery.

At left, Boyle Landmark Trust chair, Jacob Pankey walks to the tall windows overlooking Main Street, Trinity Episcopal Church and the knobs in the distance. The third-floor apartment is the first that Montgomery has leased out.

The men, along with Hulett, George Coomer and Jacob Pankey, who are also on the board, climbed two flights of stairs through drywall dust, loose brick and piles of lumber to reach the first completed, and already rented apartment to witness what the transformation is taking place inside the building.

Coomer said Montgomery’s, “Willpower, drive, innovation and sweat equity,” is what’s making the historic building come back to life.

It’s a perfect example of what the BLT’s symposium wants to explain — reuse an historic property instead of demolishing it; reinvest in historic property to help support the local economy; and  revitalize an area that could be on the brink of disappearing.

More about Montgomery’s plans for revitalizing 311 West Main Street, will be in Friday’s newspaper.