Posted on May 10th, 2012 in news | No Comments »
The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation presented an Excellence in Rehabilitation Award to Patrick Sullivan and Christopher Williams for the rehabilitation of the Briggs-Smith Building at 117-119 N. Patterson Street, at the April 20 annual awards ceremony, in Roswell, Ga.
Beginning in 2008, Sullivan and Williams undertook the historically-sensitive rehabilitation of the second story of 117-119 N. Patterson Street for use as the corporate offices of their company, ClientTell, Inc. However, as their business grew, it became necessary to expand into the ground floor space, which was eventually rehabbed in 2011.
The two-story Briggs-Smith Building, located at the southeast corner of Bennie’s Alley, has been home to numerous businesses over its lifetime. The brick building is one of downtown Valdosta’s oldest, dating to the 1860s. As fashions came and went with the decades, the building’s façade changed, as well. Originally, the building featured an ornate Victorian-era cornice, likely cast iron or stamped tin, featuring elaborate finials and urns and decorative window hoods. Sometime in the early twentieth century, probably around 1911, the Victorian cornice and window hoods were removed, and the building’s façade was given the streamlined look it still exhibits today.
In addition to dry goods, hardware, and insurance, the Briggs-Smith Building has served many businesses throughout its nearly 150 years, including the Bank of Valdosta, a bakery, Corn’s Barber and Beauty Shop, Smart and Thrifty Women’s Clothing Store, Butler’s Shoe Shore, and the Sam Perlman Wig Shop. This building also reputedly included a bath house early in its history, which is said to have served John Henry “Doc” Holliday, whose dentist office was located across the street. Prior to Sullivan’s and Williams’ purchase of the building in 2007, it was owned by Christ the King Episcopal Church, who used the building for community classes and storage.
Sullivan and Williams were able to utilize the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DDRLF) for the purchase and renovation of their building. The DDRLF program is a low interest loan available for projects within the downtown district. Other incentives which were used to rehabilitate this historically sensitive building were the Georgia State Income Tax Credit Program, the Georgia Preferential Property Tax Assessment Program and the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program.
Through their hard work, dedication, and vision, the businessmen have revived a piece of Valdosta’s architectural history. The Georgia Trust’s Excellence in Rehabilitation Award is much-deserved recognition for their commitment to historic preservation, and the revived Briggs-Smith Building will continue to be a centerpiece in the heart of the City of Valdosta for years to come.
For more information about historic preservation efforts in the city, contact Special Projects/Historic Preservation Planner Emily Foster at (229) 259-3563.