SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation announced its list of Places in Peril on Wednesday, and two area locations were named among the state’s most endangered historic places.
The goal of the list is to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological, and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites, and cultural landscapes.
In McIntosh County, Hogg Hummock on Sapelo Island was selected as it faces a renewed threat to its historically significant design and cultural heritage. The Island is home to one of the last remaining Gullah Geechee communities in the United States and was established by direct descendants of West Africans who were enslaved on the plantations of coastal Georgia.
Hogg Hummock is facing ongoing threats of development and rezoning from land and housing speculators. The proposed rezoning could increase land value which could force the removal of the indigenous population on the Island. The community was enacted with little to no input from the public and directly conflicts with the intent of existing zoning regulations to reserve Hog Hummock.
Another location, also in McIntosh County, is Grace Baptist Church in Darien. The church is located in one of the four original squares laid out according to the Oglethorpe plan, Vernon Square. During Reconstruction, the church’s location on Adams Street was home to African American professionals, and many formerly enslaved, first-time homeowners.
The congregation disbanded in the 1990s, and the building fell into disrepair. Most recently, in April of 2022, an oak tree fell on the building and heavily damaged the roof and structure. In May of this year, the City of Darien issued a citation that may lead to the demolition of the property. Local advocates and remaining trustees of the church hope to get funding that will allow the structure to be saved.
Other sites placed on the list include the Atlanta Constitution Building in Atlanta (Fulton County); Broad Avenue Elementary in Albany (Dougherty County); Cedar Grove in Martinez (Columbia County); Church of the Good Shepherd in Thomasville (Thomas County); Old First Baptist Church in Augusta (Richmond County); Pine Log Mountain (Bartow County); Piney Grove Cemetery in Atlanta (Fulton County); and Sugar Valley Consolidated School in Sugar Valley (Gordon County).
To see the full list of Georgia’s Places in Peril and to learn more about them, click here.