MACON, Ga. — For decades, the Historic Macon Foundation has worked to preserve history and architecture in Macon.
Now, the organization has exciting changes on the way, including a move into one of Macon's most historic spots.
Fire Hall No. 4 has lived at the corner of Third and Oglethorpe St. since the 1860s and has worn many hats over the years.
The building is believed to be one of the oldest masonry fire halls in the state of Georgia.
"It was a fire hall for about 100 years," says foundation executive director Ethiel Garlington. "Then it was sold and used for a variety of commercial uses... everything from a fish market to a TV repair shop."
Once renovations are complete by the summer of 2021, the hall will become Historic Macon's new headquarters.
Garlington hopes that the organization's move will encourage the community to put more revitalization efforts towards the area fringing downtown Macon.
"There's just not much down at this end of downtown," says Garlington. "It's about bringing energy to the end of downtown that needs some excitement and enthusiasm. We try to lead by example."
Since renovations began, Garlington say crews have stripped the building down to find all of its original features, including original plaster work and a lookout tower.
During its fire hall days, the tower was used to spot fires around town and to hang fire hoses out to dry
For Garlington, reserving structures like the fire hall positively impact the Macon community in a myriad of ways.
"We've found that saving buildings not only helps economic development, it provides jobs," says Garlington. "'It has a ripple effect in neighborhoods, but it also keeps materials out of the land fill."
In addition to the fire hall, Historic Macon plans to start work preserving two more significant buildings as a part of their 2020 Fading Five list.
The foundation will unveil those two new properties Thursday morning.