Historic Macon Foundation recognizes property owners for preservation, rehabilitation

hgoodridge@macon.comMay 9, 2013 

When Andrea Meyer took a job at Mercer University, she received the perk that many new employees get -- $20,000 to purchase a home in the historic downtown area. Meyer and her husband, Brent, purchased the Guy Hilsman House at 1606 Lawton Ave., restoring it after previous attempts by the former owner left it uninhabitable.

The couple was awarded for the work they had done on the home, which was built in 1896 in the Huguenin Heights neighborhood. They received Historic Macon Foundation’s preservation award for a residential property.

The Meyers hired Tony Butler Construction to complete a Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation-qualified restoration of the house.

“It’s awesome,” Brent Meyer said after receiving the award Thursday at the foundation’s award ceremony at Macon’s Douglass Theatre. “We loved the construction process. ... Historic Macon (Foundation) has been great.”

Other award winners were:

• Al and Kay Gerhardt: The Telephone Exchange Condos at 505 Second St. The building was constructed in 1904 for the former Southern Telephone and Telegraph Co. The terra cotta decoration and arched windows and brick facade are passed by thousands every day downtown. It was left partially abandoned in 1942 and completely abandoned in 1980. Its fate was in question until the Gerhardts purchased it in 2005. It was divided into commercial and residential condos.

• Jim Daws, Sierra Development: Phases I and II of the Lofts at Mercer Village in the 1600 block of Montpelier Avenue. The $13 million investment is the largest in the College Hill Corridor in decades. It includes 13,750 squar feet of retail space on the ground floor with student housing above. The development created walkable amenities in the neighborhood that includes Jittery Joe’s, Francar’s Buffalo Wings, Ingleside Village Pizza, William Alexander Salon, Designer Tan, Barnes & Noble, Fountain of Juice and Margarita’s Mexican Grill.

• Lee Oliver Jr. and family: Raines-Carmichael House at 1183 Georgia Ave. Oliver was recognized for making the multi-generational commitment to preserving the structure that was built in 1848. It’s one of two William Ranlett-designed homes in Macon. The other is the Hay House. The Oliver family bears sole responsibility for the Raines-Carmichael House, said Historic Macon officials.

• Dr. Amber Lawson for converting the former Downtown Tavern into her new office, Signature Dentistry, at 1495 Forsyth St.

• The Friends of Tattnall Square Park received the Thad E. Murphey award for its work at the park.

To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.

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