PORTERDALE, Ga. - Historic property plaques are popping up on residences and properties throughout the mill village.
The program initiated by the Porterdale Historic Preservation Commission was launched at the ice-cream social recognizing National Preservation Month. Attendees at the social were quick to sign up for their plaques. The goal of the historic property plaque program was to create community pride and awareness about the significance of the mill cottages, historic properties, the mills, the company buildings and their successful preservation.
Dori Stiles, Porterdale Historic Preservation Commission member, presented the concept to the commission at a meeting in 2017. Adapting the logo of the Bibb Company, which was the owner of the Porterdale Mill when it was in operation, the commission worked with a local sign company to create the plaques. The commission worked to keep the plaque affordable and in keeping with the signage that would have been found in the village in its hey-day.
“The plaque program is a benchmark for Porterdale historic preservation initiative,” Josephine Kelly, Porterdale’s Downtown Development Director and staff resource person for the commission, said. “Porterdale’s leadership team created the foundation by ensuring Porterdale’s mill cottages and historic properties were maintained according to the standards of the International Building Code and making a commitment to consistent code enforcement.
"The creation and adoption of Porterdale Mill District Design Standards have given property owners guidelines to maintain the architectural integrity of the property facades. This is translating to higher quality and consistency in rehabilitating the facades, accompanied by a marked increase in property values which benefits the overall well-being of the community."
With the recent development of the Porterdale History Tour and the recent partnership that has been developed with Main Street Trolley, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Fall Ramble and the statewide Balancing Nature and Commerce in Small Communities Workshop coordinated by the Land Conservation fund in October, the historic property plaque program could not be timelier. It is widely understood that a comprehensive historic preservation strategy builds a stronger local economy, it is proving to be highly successful focus of Porterdale’s economic development strategy.
“I've been grateful to be a charter member of Porterdale's HPC and part of the village's continuing renaissance," Stiles said. "Over the past six years, the commission, the mayor and council, and community stakeholders have focused on preservation, arts, and natural resources to create this renaissance. The historic property plaque program was developed to demonstrate that while our residents are diverse, we're also unified by living in a village that was established in 1917 - a village we'd like to preserve.
"What can I say, Porterdale is a great place to live!"
To receive information and an application for a Historic Property Plaque email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Porterdale City Hall at 770-786-2217.