2012 Georgia Preservation Award Winners
During the 2012 Georgia Trust’s Spring Ramble, held April 20-22 in Roswell, GA, The Georgia Trust presented preservation awards to two Thomas County properties and one organization: the Old Commercial Bank of Metcalfe, the Judge H.W. Hopkins House, and the Thomas County Historical Society. In order to be eligible, projects must be located within the State of Georgia, completed within the last three years, and listed (or eligible for listing) in the National Register of Historic Places. Each property and organization was nominated by Thomasville Landmarks due to their outstanding historical enhancement to Thomasville and the Thomas County Area.
Presented with the Excellence in Rehabilitation award, the Old Commercial Bank of Metcalfe features a unique style for a building dating back to 1916. Qualifications for this award include preserving significant portions and features of a building, including historical changes and compatible new additions, while making possible an efficient contemporary use. The Old Commercial Bank of Metcalfe underwent a three-month rehabilitation project, mostly completed by owners, Tom and Holly Harrison, which included restoring the appearance of the façade by removing the loggia enclosure, installing a historically-accurate storefront, repairing missing plaster, cleaning and repointing brick, installing the buildings first bathroom and air conditioning, and repainting the interior. The old vault door was sanded to remove non-original paint, revealing forgotten signage and decorative details. When Commercial Bank moved to Thomasville in 1924, the building was used in different capacities, but for most of its life, it was known as Harvell’s Store. Today, the building is rented by a local businesswoman, which houses her seamstress and upholstering business, along with a small retail space.
The Judge H.W. Hopkins House was presented the Excellence in Rehabilitation award. Located at 229 Remington Avenue, today the house is home to Mosaic Psychological Services. Built by Tudor Rommerdall in 1885, this Queen Anne style house with Italianate features has an irregular plan with a cross-gabled main block and a rear gabled section. This house is an outstanding example of a Victorian House built during Thomasville’s progressive period of development during the Reconstruction Era. It is believed to be the first private residence to have running water. Judge H.W. Hopkins, born in 1850, served Thomas County in many capacities during his life: President of the Thomasville Gun Club, involved with the Iamonia Club, owner of Hopkins Real Estate, Mayor of Thomasville for nine terms, County Judge for Thomas County, and the first President of the Board of Trustees for Archbold Memorial Hospital. During his first tenure as Mayor, Hopkins advocated for a city water system and secured the drilling of the first well. Hopkins is credited with the first production of natural gas in Thomasville, creation of the city’s first sewer system and creation of what became Pine Tree Boulevard. Judge H.W. Hopkins passed away in 1945 and is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Drs. Michael and Shannon Magbalon are to be congratulated for giving the Judge Hopkins house a new life.
The Thomas County Historical Society received the Stewardship Award which is presented to long-term owners who are ensuring the preservation of historic properties through maintenance, stabilization and protection. Founded in 1952, the Thomas County Historical Society is one of the oldest historical societies in the State of Georgia. It is responsible for collecting and preserving historical documents, photographs, and artifacts related to the families, schools, churches, and other institutions of Thomas County while fostering interest in the history of Thomas County. The Museum of History houses and exhibits priceless Thomas County memorabilia. The Museum Complex includes an 1877 Victorian house, an 1893 bowling alley, a 1920’s garage, 1860’s log house, 1893 Metcalfe Courthouse and the 1911 Flowers Playhouse. In May of 2010, the Society became responsible for managing and maintaining the National Historic Landmark, the 1885 Lapham-Patterson House. The Historical Society works with the Thomasville-Thomas County Visitor’s Center and local cultural sites to encourage heritage tourism in Thomas County and offers step-on guide services to bus groups touring Thomasville’s historic districts. Additionally, the Historical Society offers educational programs to the community, free of charge, on topics of local historical interest and conducts an active publishing program. Executive Director Ann Harrison received the award.