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Historic house in Milledgeville may be demolished

"We just ask that GMC be a good steward of the property that they own and consider saving this house,” says Stephen Hammock.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Milledgeville has deep roots in Central Georgia's history, with various historical properties like the old Governor's Mansion or Andalusia, the home of author Flannery O'Connor.  But one of Milledgeville's historic homes, the Lamar House, was in danger of being demolished.

A group denied a motion on Thursday to determine the fate of the historic home. For now, they chose not to demolish the Lamar House, located downtown.

Stephen Hammock, executive director of the Middle Georgia Preservation Alliance, says: "We just ask that GMC be a good steward of the property that they own and consider saving this house."

He explains that GMC's private foundation bought the house back in January,  which was built in the early 1800s by Colonel Zachariah Lamar.

"He was an extremely prominent man in the history of Milledgeville and of Georgia, and as an archeologist-- I'm really interested in what could be in the ground as much as saving the house,” Hammock says. 

He says Lamar helped design the layout of the city, was a judge and owned 15,000 acres.

Any artifacts found on his property can tell his story. 

"When you have a house that's over 200 years old, it kind of forces you to confront the physical manifestations of the past, but there's more to tell with the story. What about the slaves? We're interested in their story. The archeology can help tell their story,” Hammock says.

Now, his group says GMC's foundation has applied to the city for permission to tear it down. 

"GMC has actually demolished six other historical houses up to this date. Two others are in danger."

Hammock says they're meeting to try to preserve these stories because historical buildings are disappearing. 

"Some of it is bound to happen and that's sad, but to demolish a building to put up a trailer-- that's what's on the application. That's just ridiculous, it's a no-brainer. Save this house.”

Milledgeville resident Brandon Shrewsbry has lived in the city his whole life and is now aware of the House's presence. 

"I've passed it several times but yes, that's the first time I've noticed it," he said.

He believes the land could be used for something more. 

"I agree we need to save historical sites, but this in particular-- I don't see it holding a whole lot of significance, so it might be best if it gets replaced,” Shrewsbry says. 

The Lamar House is on the 300 block of South Wayne Street, just across from the GMC campus.

Hammock says there may be talks about demolition in the future, but not today. We reached out to GMC's private foundation and they declined to comment. 

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