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Symposium on Historic Mill Redevelopment

The Athens - Clarke Heritage Foundation is holding a one-day symposium on historic mill redevelopment on Saturday 4th February. Titled Southern Mills: Economically Smart|Socially Responsible, the symposium will focus on the abandoned, 18-acre Southern Mills property located less than a mile from downtown Athens and just north of the Boulevard neighborhood. Four nationally-renowned speakers will talk about how the redevelopment of this property can boost local economic development and be responsive to community needs. The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Chase Street Elementary School, located four blocks from the mill, and will include a tour of the mill property as well as morning refreshments, lunch, and snacks.

The goals of the symposium are to increase awareness of the tremendous potential of large-scale historic rehabilitation projects, provide practical information on how such projects are financed and how they can be successful, and also bring attention to this significant abandoned property in hopes of attracting potential buyers.

The target audiences for the symposium are multiple including local residents interested in the future of Southern Mills and how its future can have a positive impact on Athens’ economic development and social issues; also, anyone interested in learning more about historic preservation and sustainability. The symposium will be an excellent professional development opportunity for realtors, bankers, lawyers, developers, architects and designers, historic preservationists, and anyone involved with preservation projects. The foundation also hopes to attract elected officials and local government staff and commission members who play a role in land use and economic development decisions.

Pre-registration is required. The cost is $35 for A-CC area residents (includes five contiguous counties) and $75 for all others. For more information please visit or call 706-353-1801. Reservations can be made online or mail a check to: ACHF, 489 Prince Avenue, Athens, GA 30601.

Additional Information
The symposium is part of the foundation’s Preservation Matters series, which focuses on making the connection between historic preservation and environmental sustainability. A handful of communities around the country have begun looking at historic preservation as a means to address pressing social needs and through this event the foundation will stress the viability of this type of project in Athens. Miller’s Court, a historic mill rehabilitation project in Baltimore, MD, was one of the inspirations behind the symposium. Miller’s Court is a new, mixed-use community designed especially for Baltimore’s teachers, and the organizations that support them. In addition to providing affordable, green living options, the project aims to create a workforce community with a common tenant base, while providing collaborative and economical office space for nonprofits and spurring growth in a disinvested area of the city.

As a follow-up to the symposium, ACHF will hold a design charrette to be conducted by UGA’s Center for Community Design and Preservation on February 24-26. More information about the charrette will be provided.

The Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation has received funding from multiple sources including grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Athens-Clarke County as well as donations from Aderhold Properties, Inc. (Southern Mills owner), UGA’s College of Environment and Design, and E + E architecture. See the foundation’s website for a complete list of donors. If you would like to make a contribution to support this project, please contact the foundation at 001-706-353-1801.

For more information, contact Amy Kissane at 001-706-353-1801 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .