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  • Writer's pictureHistoric Columbus

Preservation Spotlight #3- City Mills

Historic preservation encourages cities to build on the assets they have—unleashing the enormous power and potential of older buildings to improve health, affordability, prosperity, and well-being. By transforming the places we live to places we love, older buildings are a key and irreplaceable component of this future, and we are richer and stronger when they remain.

This is the third in a series of updates on preservation projects in our community. We hope you will drive by these special places to create your own driving tour. Each of the sites has a connection with Historic Columbus through being a current or previously HCF-owned property or a participant in the Public Participation Grant program.

Thanks to the incredible support and steadfast kindness of our members, corporate partners, volunteers, and the current owners of these sites, they have a bright future!



1 18th Street

Columbus’ Industrial Riverfront National Historic Landmark District includes the Bibb Mill, City Mills, the site of Muscogee Mills, the Eagle & Phenix Mill, and the Iron Works. There are only 1,600 National Historic Landmarks in the United States, if that gives you an idea of the national importance our mills hold.

Seaborn Jones built a small water-powered gristmill on the Chattahoochee in 1828. He constructed a wooden dam across the rapids to provide power and that original dam continued to be used until 1908 when a stone dam was constructed. Following the war in 1869, a group of businessmen built a new mill on the site. The two remaining buildings were built in 1890 and 1914.

In 2015, Historic Columbus was given the opportunity to partner with Ken Henson in the stabilization of City Mills. Historic Columbus was able to invest $1.2 Million in that stabilization thanks to the donors of the Save Me A Place Capital Campaign.

Historic Columbus worked with Ken for the better part of three years planning for the future development of the site, and we were eager to turn our share over to more experienced hands to manage the development from here on out. In 2018, Historic Columbus sold a controlling share of its ownership in the City Mills property to local hotel developer Jack Pezold and the Pezold Companies with an adaptive re-use plan to include a variety of uses from primarily housing a 40+ room hotel to a yoga studio and a restaurant.

Work has fired up at City Mills! A crew from CAM Builders is hard at work cleaning the interior spaces and beginning to build out the Yoga Studio tenant space in the basement of the Mill Building. The hope is to have this space up and running in the next 3-4 months. Once completed, work will commence on the renovation of the remaining space for a hotel and restaurant use.

Keep up with the progress on City Mills, as we will continue to update you on the latest developments. Drive by City Mills and see this exciting work as it happens!

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