Monday, March 26, 2012

Facade Renovation: 109 N. Sage St.

(Toccoa, GA) – One building in Main Street has received a major facelift this month. An extended portion of the Harper’s Building on Sage Street recently had façade renovations completed, giving the previously dilapidated structure a whole new look and feel.
Before the project began, contractor Chris Irvin of Deercourt Enterprises went through the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) process in January to review the guidelines for construction, and in February was given formal approval by the Historic Preservation Commission. Following an architectural drawing and design plans set by Chip Wright, GA Mountains Regional Commission Preservation Planner, and partnering with Main Street, Mr. Irvin began restoration work in late February. Upon completion, Mr. Irvin received from Mr. Wright a Preservation Excellence Award for his hard work (see photo at left) to recognize his valuable contribution to historic preservation and quality downtown revitalization.
Property owner Bob White will apply to the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for the façade grant now that work has been completed. The tenant has not yet been determined; however Mr. White is recruiting for a professional or service business. Previously, the building was Franklin Discount Loans and then its use changed to the toy department for the Harper’s Five and Dime Store. Mr. White hopes to begin work on the West Doyle Street portion of Harper’s in the next few weeks.
Mr. Wright spoke on the project on behalf of the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, “It takes great effort to rebuild a community in a fashion that restores architectural integrity and economic vitality. Quality rehabilitation projects are community-oriented labors of love.” Community Development Director Connie Tabor said that the project has been exemplary and that the Historic Preservation Commission is very proud of the overall impact of the design and construction work.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Downtown Development Day at the Capitol

Community Planning and Downtown Development Director Connie Tabor, along with City of Toccoa Downtown Development Authority Member Clay Fisher, attended the Georgia Downtown Association "Downtown Development Day" at the Capitol in Atlanta, GA on March 6.

The event is hosted to allow downtown representatives the opportunity to meet legislators and discuss current topics that focus and relate to downtown.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Video Book on Website for City of Toccoa!

March 2, 2012 – (Toccoa, GA) The City of Toccoa announces a website update!

The video tour book, which has previously been featured on the City’s website homepage, has been updated for the 2012 year! This feature comes at no cost to the City.

Work on the project began in 2011 and included participation from a majority of Toccoa’s governmental branches and organizations. The tour book was finished earlier this year and has been recently added to the website. The website currently receives around 8,000 ‘visits’ per month, which is known as the number of visitors that stay on the website, and is looking to receive more from this update.

The videos are split into different categories to highlight the varying aspects of Toccoa’s community. There is a Welcome that includes commentary from the Mayor; Real Estate and Relocation featuring Wendi Bailey, President of the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce; Quality of Life by Brenda Carlan, Director of the Stephens County Historical Society and Currahee Military Museum; Education with Stephens County School Board Superintendent Sherrie Whiten; Economic Development featuring Cam Parker, Chairman of the Stephens County Development Authority; and Downtown featuring Downtown Development Authority Chair Lynn Cox .

The project took an enormous amount of time and dedication from all involved, coordinating photo shoots, scripts, commentary, and more. It is a wonderful display of our community and will allow Toccoa to continue to reach out to audiences in an interactive and innovative way.

The City thanks all who were involved and we look forward to new opportunities to communicate the beauty of Toccoa.or more information, please visit the City of Toccoa’s website at and click on “Video Tour of Toccoa.”

Fifth Historic Plaque Installation a Success!

(Toccoa, GA) – On Thursday, March 1, 2012 the Train Depot received the fifth historic plaque for downtown historic buildings. The ceremony took place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 1 in front of the Depot.

The existing depot has served as a central hub for Toccoa for over one hundred years. It has been listed as a “significant historical resource” by the Toccoa Stephens County Comprehensive Plan in the mid-2000s and has further established itself by becoming a part of the historical plaques series downtown.

The ceremony was brief and memorable, drawing members of the Downtown Development Authority, City Commission, Stephens County Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce, Toccoa Historic Preservation Commission, Main Street Program, and Mayor Austin.

The existing depot was built in 1915, after the first structure burned in 1870. The City acquired the structure in 1997 and in 2000 began renovations to the building to fit previous design circa the 1940s. By the beginning of 2006, the Chamber of Commerce, the Welcome Center, the Stephens County Historical Society, Currahee Military Museum, and Amtrak had established residence.

Known as the spot with the most “hustle and bustle” in town, many ceremony attendees fondly remember the depot as children, watching soldiers and tourists arrive by train and get off in Toccoa. The depot helped establish Toccoa as a major railroad center and continues to do so today by housing services that provide historical and local information.

Help us honor and support the next historic plaque dedication ceremony for Troup’s Studio on April 5, at 5 p.m. or further questions, please contact Kembra Landry at the Main Street Office in City Hall at 706-282-3232.