By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation announced its 2014 list of Places in Peril, and Madison’s Kolb Street House was one of the 10 structures listed.
According to the Georgia Trust’s website, the Kolb Street house was built “circa 1850,” and served as a prison camp for Union soldiers and as a Confederate hospital during different stages of the Civil War. After the Civil War ended, the property was used as a farmstead.
The Kolb Street house is an example of vernacular Greek Revival architecture but has a “curious combination” of a Georgian floor plan on the first floor and an I-house plan on the second floor.
The Georgia Trust lists the threat to the Kolb house as being due to “deferred maintenance” which the house has suffered for several years. The house, which has been damaged internally by vandals, is in need of roofing and structural repairs.
Through working with local individuals and organizations, the Georgia Trust hopes to be able to stabilize the structure and have it included in the trail system that is being developed by Madison’s Greenspace Commission.
This year’s list of Places in Peril is the Georgia Trust’s ninth list. The purpose of Places in Peril, according to the Georgia Trust, is to “raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources… that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.”
Sites must be listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or the Georgia Register of Historic Places in order to be nominated. Serious threats to a site’s existence or integrity as well as community support are criteria for being listed as well.
A 133-page Historic Structure Report (HSR) about the Kolb Street House was prepared by Jennifer K. Bailey, Leeann Dickerson, Renee’ Donnell, and John McBrayer in Spring 2013.
The Kolb Street House HSR, which was submitted along with the Places in Peril nomination as a supporting document, gives an account of the structure’s history as well as a current assessment of the building’s condition.
Ken Kocher, Madison preservation planner and Historic Preservation Commission staff consultant, believes that the awareness that will come from being placed on the Places in Peril list will ultimately help the Kolb Street House.
“Since this is a statewide list, this will garner attention both at the local level as well as across Georgia,” said Kocher. “Given the building’s connection to the Civil War it may bring interest, and hopefully funds, from groups interested in that history. Sometimes it takes widespread interest to get the ball rolling toward saving a historic building.”