Gaineswood to receive renovations

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 24, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; The historical landmark Gaineswood will soon begin preliminary stages of it’s forthcoming &8220;face lift.&8221;

Friends of Gaineswood organization members and Alabama Historical Commission staff met with architects from Lord Aeck Sargent Architecture earlier this month to discuss the design work and objectives for the upcoming $520,000 restoration of Gaineswood.

Located in Demopolis, Gaineswood is a historic site of the Historical Commission. A National Historic Landmark, the structure is considered one of America’s finest examples of the Greek Revival style of architecture.

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Representing the Friends of Gaineswood at the meeting were board members Tarlee Brown, Laura Foster and John Northcutt.Architects Susan Turner and Rob Yallop spoke on behalf of Lord Aeck Sargent.

The principal architect is Susan Turner, who performed an architectural assessment of Gaineswood four years ago for the Conservation Assessment Program.Joining the Lord Aeck Sargent team is Selma architect Richard B. &8220;Dick&8221; Hudgens who will serve as a consultant.

In 2005, the Friends of Gaineswood and the Alabama Historical were awarded a Save America’s Treasures matching grant in the amount of $260,000. The Historical Commission, the Friends of Gaineswood, the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel and the City of Demopolis have committed matching funds to the grant provided by the National Park Service.

During the next few months, more extensive inspections of the roof, exterior, and foundation are to be undertaken.

Hartzell said within the renovations, grading of the land is a possibility to solve the foundation and water problems.

Hartzell said the main concern is finding the best way to ensure the water drains away from the foundation and no addition damage is done.

Detailed drawings that specify how the repairs will be done and which materials will be used will be produced. These specifications must be considered and approved by the State Building Commission.

Hartzell said the Friends of Gaineswood and the community contributed significantly to the improvements being made to the landmark.