A historic downtown Brunswick home in need of some serious love may get a helping hand from a state preservation organization.
The Brunswick-Glynn Land Bank Authority voted Monday to partner with the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation to find a buyer for the house at 1315 Union St. The trust must consider approval of the partnership at its next board meeting in the coming weeks before the deal can be finalized.
If the trust’s board signs on, it would take over marketing and advertising the home, which was built around the turn of the 20th century and donated to the city in August 2016 in derelict condition, according to property records and John Hunter, city planner. The trust would publicize the home and add about $9,000 to the asking price to cover marketing costs.
“It’s not a done deal, but we feel optimistic,” said Bren Daiss, the city’s planning and codes director. “I think it’s an awesome opportunity, and the process seems pretty straight forward.”
If the Atlanta-based Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation finds a buyer, the city would essentially use it as a conduit to sell the home. There would be conditions included in its sale. A historic preservation easement would be attached to the home to ensure its survival, and the buyer would have to meet other requirements set by the land bank authority.
The house is zoned today for office commercial, but could also be used as a family residence, as it was originally built.
Prior to the city’s acquisition of the home, a previous owner filed paperwork to demolish it. The Brunswick Historic Preservation Board denied the demolition request and the city commission followed suit in 2016.
The home is one of at least seven designed by architect George F. Barber (1854-1915) in downtown Brunswick. Barber designed scores of homes and sold them nationwide by catalogue during the turn of the century, according to Christopher DiMattei, a Barber researcher and Massachusetts-based architect.
The design for the home at 1315 Union St. was featured in Barber’s 1899 catalogue “Modern Dwellings,” according to DiMattei. Through is research using U.S. Census records, DiMattei claims the home was built by Thorwald F. Winter and his wife, Elle. Winter ran a clothing store in Brunswick.