Watch Chapman’s “Daulton House” Go Up

Architect Clay Chapman is currently constructing the “Daulton House” at 317 South McDonough Road in the MAK District. The house design was approved at the Historic Preservation Commission’s January meeting in a 3-2 vote.

You can monitor the Tudor brick home’s progress at the Chapman Architecture blog.

But perhaps even more interesting than watching this house rise brick-by-brick, is reading Chapman’s theory of the trade that he relates along the way.  Such as…

There may be an underlying suspicion in the collective psyche that we are presently unable to expound; unable to do anything of creative significance because the era of modern manufacturing, in all it’s efficiency, has made the artisan tradesman obsolete; and in so doing extinguished that brazen creativity we Americans pride ourselves as being descended. Of course this is in no way limited to creative building — what car being built today will be held with the same affection as a 66 Ford Mustang in the year 2060.

All this to say, a penchant for period architecture should in no way be based on an unbalanced appreciation for another time. Many modern architects view period design with a bricker-brack sort of kitchy, collectibles mentality and there is good fodder for this. But it’s not so much a particular period I’m in love with, as a few rudimentary materials that happen to be historically ubiquitous; materials I find difficult to improve upon without a price.

h/t: the DNO

Photo courtesy of Chapman Architecture blog

MAK District Lecture Tomorrow at Noon

Scott Leith forwards this note…

On Tuesday, March 24, the DeKalb History Center is hosting a lecture on Decatur’s MAK Historic District. Guest speaker Scott Leith will describe how this south Decatur neighborhood has stood at the intersection of many key events and transitional eras. The lecture will include a look at the late Leila Ross Wilburn, a groundbreaking architect and a longtime resident of MAK. The event will examine MAK’s connections to Agnes Scott College, from the benefits provided by the school to major challenges that, at times, threatened many homes in MAK. Finally, the lecture will look at the impact of desegregation, white flight and, in later years, gentrification and the creation of a historic district.

The March 24 event is free and starts at noon at the DeKalb History Center, inside the old DeKalb County Courthouse.

Georgia Historic Preservation Tax Credit Gets Huge Boost

OK, I’m a few days behind on this news…but to those preservation-minded individuals in the area, its huge.

Back on May 15th, Sonny signed House Bill 851, which increases the historic preservation tax credit from $5,000 per building renovation/rehabilitation project cap to a whopping $100,000 for residential properties and $300,000 for commercial. ALSO, it increases the tax credit to 25% of the total project cost for both residential and commercial. Much better than the old 10% for residential and 20% for commercial!

As always, in order to qualify the building must either be individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a contributing structure in a NRHP-listed historic district. To those a little gun shy about local historic districts as of late, don’t confuse a National Register District with a local historic district, as they are completely separate entities. In fact, Decatur’s MAK District is the only historic district in Decatur that is both a local historic district and a National Register district. None of the other local districts have yet to apply for NRHP status. Both of Decatur’s current National Register areas are in Oakhurst. South Candler/Agnes Scott and Winonna Park are the only National Register Districts in Decatur. To see a full list of Decatur properties on the NRHP, click here and search “GA” and “Decatur”. (Not all search results are in the city of Decatur)

Unlike a local historic district, National Register districts exist mainly to provide tax incentives to property owners, along with providing some pseudo-protection in the case that the state or federal government wants to tear down your property (to build a highway or government building, etc…)

If you already own a NRHP property and want to rehab it to receive the tax credit, the final step is getting your renovation plans approved by the National Park Service.

Hopefully this mammoth increase will not only motivate residents to rehab their historic properties, but also create a few more NRHP districts in the area, which get residents learning more about the unique heritage of their neighborhoods.