Valdosta looks to honor historic preservation

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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
April 17, 2019

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- The City of Valdosta is celebrating a piece of the past.

The city is accepting nominations for the Historic Preservation Awards. The recognition coincides with National Historic Preservation Month in May.

Preserving Valdosta's history is a big part of downtown and the Historic District. It's where places like the Pentecostal House of Prayer call home. It was built in 1869 and remains the oldest standing church building in Valdosta.

The Historic Preservation Awards are one way to celebrate buildings like the Pentecostal House of Prayer and those who protect them. The awards have been given for more than 10 years as a way to honor those that honor Valdosta's history.

"It's our identity, more or less the face of the body, it is what people think about when they say, 'I'm from Valdosta,'" said James Horton, Historic Preservation and Special Projects Planner. "We're seeing the quality of the applications really get better and more competitive."

The awards are given to local people and businesses that are committed to preservation in projects big and small.

Last year, Miller Hardware Company was awarded 'Compatible New Construction' for its addition of Whitehead Industrial Hardware. The Miller family built the new warehouse behind the existing hardware store on East Hill Avenue.

"Pay tribute to the history of downtown, the architecture, just trying to maintain what was put here a long time ago," said Jonathan Miller of Miller Hardware Company.

Miller Hardware has been a part of the downtown landscape for more than 100 years. The family said the area is now a part of who they are, and continue to value its history.

Preserving the history is a trend all across downtown.

"People are pumping money into downtown to make it an asset for the community, and I think in the next two to three years we're going to continue to see that trend," Miller said.

"We're seeing millions of dollars of investments in the downtown area, and those historic buildings are a great part of the reason why people are coming downtown," Horton said.

There are five categories of preservation awards. The city is accepting nominations through April 30.

The awards will be given out at the Valdosta City Council meeting at the end of May.