Georgia Trust seeks buyer for 1883’s ‘Most elegant country home in Middle Georgia’

By Maria Saporta

Wanted: a preservation-minded buyer to acquire and rehabilitate a treasure in Madison, Ga. that was on the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2018 “Places in Peril” list.

The Georgia Trust and the Madison-Morgan Conservancy are looking for a buyer to purchase and rehabilitate the Foster-Thomason-Miller House in Madison, located at 498 South Main Street.

The historic house has been saved and stabilized, and it is being sold through the Madison-Morgan Conservancy’s newly established revolving fund, which provides effective alternatives to demolition or neglect of architecturally and historically significant properties.

Georgia Trust Madison

Pictured in front of the Foster-Thomason-Miller House are (left to right): Neil Horstman (Conservancy’s Endangered Properties Revolving Fund Chair), Mark McDonald (Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation President), Christine McCauley (Conservancy Executive Director), Theresa Pippin (Conservancy Program Coordinator), and Robert Trulock (Conservancy Board President). (Special: Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation)

The Foster-Thomason-Miller House was built in 1883 as “the most elegant country home in Middle Georgia.” The house was fully restored in 1986 and received a 1986 Georgia Trust Preservation Award.

But in 2001, the rear kitchen addition burned. The main building suffered smoke and water damage. And by 2018, the house was in with a threat that the property would be redeveloped in an insensitive way. That led to the Georgia Trust including it on its 2018 list of 10 “Places in Peril” in the state.

This 5,000 square foot home includes five bedrooms, two bathrooms, parlor, library, dining room, and a central hall. The Georgia Trust called it an “extraordinary home of national significance is an excellent example of the American Aesthetic Movement with elements of Queen Anne, Italianate, and Gothic Revival styles.”

It includes a treasure trove of detail, the interior decorative elements include extensive wood carving, cabinetry, plasterwork caryatids, and numerous motifs and symbols of the Aesthetic Movement.

The property will require significant investment to rehabilitate and presents a unique opportunity to design and build a new rear addition with modern amenities.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for significant economic/tax incentives, including Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits, State Rehabilitation Tax Credits, and a Preferential Property Tax Freeze. The property is also regulated by Madison’s local historic district.

Foster-Momason-Miller House Madison

The Foster-Thomason-Miller House (Special: Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation)

The property is listed by Lewis and Redwine Real Estate Group for sale to a conservation buyer who will agree to rehabilitate the building to certain standards and will be further marketed by the Georgia Trust and the Conservancy.

The house is on 1.024 acres and is available for $449,000.  There is an adjacent .86-acre developable lot also available for sale.  Serious inquiries should be directed to Michael Redwine or Jeffrey Hagy at [email protected] or 404-394-4071. For more information, prospective buyers can reach out to Michael Redwine or Jeffrey Hagy at www.lewisandredwine.com.

In 2016, the Madison-Morgan Conservancy identified the “revolving fund” as a tool to help protect endangered properties in Morgan County. Thanks to much guidance and technical support from the Georgia Trust, which has protected more than 30 properties since 1990 through its revolving fund, the Conservancy created an Endangered Properties Revolving Fund and made the Foster-Thomason-Miller House its first purchase.

The Conservancy’s Endangered Properties Revolving Fund is funded by the Watson-Brown Foundation, the 1772 Foundation, and by many donors and friends. The Revolving Fund provides effective alternatives to demolition or neglect of architecturally and historically significant properties by promoting their rehabilitation and enabling owners of endangered historic properties to connect with buyers who will rehabilitate their properties.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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