A “significant resource,” Calhoun House on Kolb St. going to require some work
By Stephanie Johns
Local historian Marshall Woody Williams called the Calhoun House located at 850 Kolb St. in Madison “one of the most significant resources in town.”
Ken Kocher, Preservation Planner with Madison Planning Department, said the circa 1850 Greek revival style house most likely served as the mill manager’s residence.
Williams said that during the Civil War the three-story brick cotton mill that stood in front of the home housed prisoners. Confederate Commander William Lowndes Calhoun lived in the house itself.
Kocher said Calhoun served as prison warden for eight months and later served as mayor of Atlanta.
Later during the war the mill served as a hospital, according to Williams. Doctors and nurses lived in the home at that time.
“That house has a very important history,” he said. “It’s one of the treasures of our community.”
Williams said the building needs stabilizing, the water leaks need to be cut out, and the termites need to be stopped.
Kocher has visited the house within the last few months and shared his thoughts about it.
“It’s in fairly good shape,” he said. It is missing a corner foundation pier, has some roof leaks, and has been vandalized.
He said the current property owners had boarded up the windows and doors on the first floor but vandals removed the boarding on the door and broke both the glass and wood frames of the windows in the home on both floors.
“This wasn’t someone trying to enter the home,” he said. “It was malicious.”
He added that there is graffiti on the walls as well. In spite of all that, he said the house is solid.
Stabilizing it would require a jack system to hold up one corner of the house, the removal of some vegetation that infringes upon the house, patching the open areas on the roof, and re-boarding the windows and doors.
“It’s not restoring the house by any means,” he said. “It’s just making sure things that would lead to its deterioration are stopped.”
He noted that one previous stabilization effort a couple of years ago to a house on West Jefferson Street differed in that the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation owned that house. As a non-profit group and property owner they were able to organize a volunteer day.
The difficulty with organizing a volunteer effort to stabilize this house, he said, is that it is private property, not a non-profit.
“We need to think about how to get this done,” he said.
Printed in the November 29, 2012 edition.