Members of the newly formed Barrow Preservation Society are already at work on several projects.
Society organizer Helen Person met with Mark McDonald of the Georgia Trust last month to tour the Peskin Building, Granite Hotel and downtown area. McDonald recommended developing a strategic plan for the downtown area encompassing the Courthouse, Peskin Building, Granite Hotel, Sharpton Opera House and other buildings.
Currently, the society is focusing its efforts on the preservation of the Granite Hotel, one of the Barrow County's most endangered local resources. The society is in the process of preparing a proposal for the City of Winder regarding the hotel.
At the last meeting of the society, members discussed conflicting zoning and fire ordinances that might prevent implementation of an approach to downtown development that would include loft spaces on upper floors and retail space at ground level.
Other projects under consideration by the society include a proposal to partner with the East Georgia Genealogical Society to update the cemetery book. Over 100 cemeteries in the county need to be surveyed.
Last month, society members voted to participate in an Architectural Photography Project in conjunction with the University of Georgia. The project collects photographs and information about architectural elements of an area.
The Barrow Preservation Society was created for the purpose of protecting historic resources throughout Barrow County. The society aims to raise public awareness of the value of historic resources and encourage citizens to recognize the importance of revitalizing local communities by capitalizing on distinguishing characteristics and features.