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  • Writer's pictureHistoric Columbus

Meet the 2021 Grant Finalists: 4th Street Towers, NIM WWII Company Street, and The Wynn House

Hello everyone! We are taking a three week hiatus from the History Spotlights (don't worry we are coming back like a freight train in November!) to bring you three important Preservation Spotlights. Preservation is the heart of what we do as an organization. This month we are bringing to you current preservation projects in need, as well as a celebration of the hard work and investment made by private individuals in our community. Today, Historic Columbus is thrilled to announce the three finalists for the third round of the Public Participation Grant. The funding for this unique grant program is made possible by the donors of Historic Columbus’ 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign – Save Me A Place. Each of these organizations and their projects are important to our community and their historic resources are worthy of preservation. You can vote until 11:59 PM on Saturday, October 16th. To vote, visit our website at Every vote is important because the project with the most votes will win $100,000 to make their project possible. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reply to this email. Thank you all for your continued support of Historic Columbus! Elizabeth B. Walden Executive Director

Celebrate preservation!

Vote for your favorite project today - link to vote is at the end of the email following The Wynn House project description.


FOURTH STREET TOWERS – 502 THIRD AVENUE Project: Fourth Street Towers has a long-standing history of being committed to reinvesting in the community by providing affordable housing for low to moderate income families. Fourth Street Towers was one of the first community housing development organizations in Columbus. The proposed renovation project is a single-family home that will be used to fulfill the organization’s mission. The historic property, 502 Third Avenue, is located within the boundaries of the Columbus Historic District. Currently, it is in need of extensive renovation and repair. This property can once again become a gift to the street and provide much needed affordable housing for families within our community. Once the property has been renovated, Fourth Street Towers will allow their leasing and management company to list it on their rental vacancy website. It will provide comfortable, affordable housing for a family who would not otherwise be able to afford to live in the community. Timeline: January - June 2022 Public Appeal from Fourth Street Towers: Our site merits philanthropic funding because it would beautify the neighborhood and provide housing for the community and a place to call home for a family. If they are not the winner of the grant, Fourth Street Towers will seek out additional grants or funding that may be available to move forward with the project.


FINALIST: NATIONAL INFANTRY MUSEUM'S WORLD WAR II COMPANY STREET Project: The Selective Service Act of 1940 specified that no one could be sworn into military service unless the government made adequate provisions for shelter and other human needs. Because of the Act, the War Department moved to construct temporary buildings called the 700 Series plans. More than 100,000 soldiers entered the Army at Fort Benning during this time. Nationally, more than 6,000,000 soldiers trained in 700 Series buildings, which were constructed to be used for five to twenty years. However, after the war ended in 1945, the need to continue training more soldiers continued and the buildings were still in need. In the 1990s, Fort Benning was told that all 700 Series buildings should be demolished. The National Infantry Museum was able to persuade the Army to rescue seven of the 700 Series buildings. They are now a large part of the outdoor exhibits at the museum. They are the only set of 700 Series buildings existing in the southeastern region. The repair needed for the building is roof replacement. Timeline: We hope to begin work in December or January and would be complete in early 2022. Public Appeal from the National Infantry Museum: These buildings are an important part of our country's history, both nationally and locally. World War II was a pivotal point, and Fort Benning played an important role in ultimately keeping our freedom. Columbus and Fort Benning have also enjoyed a close and excellent relationship. We believe the WWII Company Street repair project is an excellent fit with the mission of Historic Columbus. This macro exhibit educates the public about the important part Fort Benning played in WWII and helps preserve the historical and architectural character of Columbus and Fort Benning. There are so many benefits from historic preservation, and it's especially critical that our young people learn from the past as they become the leaders of tomorrow. Seeing the way our soldiers lived, worked, and trained in years gone by makes an impact on them that reading about it in a textbook never will. Unless these one-of-a-king buildings are properly maintained, they will be lost forever. While we cannot preserve our WWII veterans, we can preserve their legacy and the buildings where they lived, trained, and worked so that their valor and sacrifice will never be forgotten. If we are not the winner of this grant, there is a possibility to utilize funds from our American Rescue Plan grant request.

Images of Fort Benning by Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr.


FINALIST: THE WYNN HOUSE Project: The Wynn House, c.1839, is a Greek Revival mansion that has been lived in by a number of Columbus’ leading citizens. In 1958, a new purpose for the Wynn House was developed from the vision of Jim Woodruff. It would become not only significant for its architecture and booming presence on the landscape, but more importantly for its ability to serve our community. The Wynn House provides Columbus with a unique venue tied to the history of our town from the planning of the area known as Wynnton to the development of the surrounding historic neighborhood of Overlook. The grant would fund updating and renovating the two upstairs bathrooms. The purpose is to provide an improved experience for rentals and to generate additional income for the house to continue its preservation. Timeline: March - June 2022 Public Appeal from The Wynn House: We are active participants to the economy of Midtown helping to guarantee its future. By connecting with the community through philanthropic programs and cultural events, we ensure that the public directly participates in Columbus' history. Help the Wynn House continue to educate the public about the past while engaging them in the present through preservation, history, art, etiquette, and culinary experiences. If we are not the winner of this grant, we will try to apply for another grant or foundation in order to raise funds for this project.

Images: Columbus, Georgia in Vintage Postcards by Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr.

Next Week: We are gearing up for our 55th Annual Meeting and Preservation Awards video release with a few teasers about our latest projects and this year's awards (info below)!

If you aren't already a member, we hope you will join us! I also want to encourage you to follow Historic Columbus on Facebook and Instagram for more posts on our community's history. Thank you all for your continued support of Historic Columbus!

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