Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home

The Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home in Camilla, Georgia, was named one of the country’s “most endangered historic places” in June. 

ATLANTA — A Camilla nursing home and a Thomasville hotel are among 10 sites named to the annual Places in Peril list from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home, operated by midwife Beatrice Borders and named for her mother, was the only known birthing center of its kind for Black women in the region, according to an article published in June by the Georgia Recorder. The article was sparked when the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Camilla facility one of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places early that month.

In July the nursing home was named a recipient of a grant from the African American Culture Heritage Fund.

Thomasville’s Imperial Hotel had been a stop for African American performers touring the Southeast. It was one of the locations in what became to be known as “The Green Book,” which was chronicled in the Academy Award-winning film of the same name, according to an article by The Thomasville Times-Enterprise. It operated from 1949 to 1969.

The hotel building was purchased in 2018 by Jack Hadley, founder of the Jack Hadley Black History Museum in Thomasville, and fund-raising and renovation efforts have been going on ever since.

The Georgia Trust released the 2021 Places in Peril list on Wednesday.

In addition to the Williams Nursing Home and the Imperial Hotel, sites on the list include Ansley Park in Atlanta (Fulton County); Chattahoochee Brick Company in Atlanta (Fulton County); Gay, Georgia Fairgrounds in Gay (Meriwether County); Good Shepherd Episcopal School in Brunswick (Glynn County); Red Hill Cemetery in Milledgeville (Baldwin County); Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge in Woodbury (Meriwether County); Thicket Ruins in Darien (McIntosh County); and West Broad Street School in Athens (Clarke County).

“This is the Trust’s seventeenth annual Places in Peril list,” said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of the Trust. “To date, 95% of past Places in Peril sites are still in existence. We hope the list will continue to bring preservation solutions to Georgia’s imperiled historic resources by highlighting ten representative sites.”

Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy, according to a press release from the Trust announcing the Places in Peril. 

“Through Places in Peril, the Trust will encourage owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships in order to reuse, reinvest and revitalize historic properties that are in peril,” the release said. 

Sites on previous years’ lists include: 

• Capricorn Studios in Macon was fully rehabilitated and transformed into Mercer Music at Capricorn, receiving a Georgia Trust Preservation Award in 2021.

• Zion Episcopal Church in Talbotton received a $100,000 grant from Historic Columbus Foundation, enabling a full restoration and receiving a Preservation Award from the Georgia Trust.

• Cohutta African American Civic District received a grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation to help fund a feasibility study for the rehabilitation and sustainability of the district’s buildings.

• The National Bindery Library Company, one of the oldest remaining structures on Atlanta’s Peachtree Road, will be largely preserved as part of a new condo development.

• The Cherry Grove Schoolhouse in Washington was a recent recipient of the Trust’s Callahan Incentive Grant, which will go towards the building’s rehabilitation.

Locally, the former Moultrie High School — which now houses the Colquitt County Arts Center — was named to the list in 2018.

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