Part of Augusta's historic Goodale House collapses

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The Goodale House, one of Georgia's oldest surviving houses, partially collapsed Friday.

Michael Weathers, Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department's battalion chief, checks out the collapsed wall and chimney of the Goodale House.   Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Michael Weathers, Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department's battalion chief, checks out the collapsed wall and chimney of the Goodale House.

"I'm going to hope it can be restored, but that process lies with the current owner," said Erick Montgomery, the executive director of Historic Augusta Inc., which has worked behind the scenes in efforts to preserve the building.

The three-story home had a major structural failure in which the chimney on the west wall closest to the road collapsed, taking a good portion of the wall with it, Montgomery said.

"I didn't go inside, obviously, but it could be that the rest is relatively stable," he said.

Built in 1799 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 as the Fitzsimmons-Hampton House, the Federal-style, multistory building was purchased in 2009 by Wes Sims, a Birmingham, Ala., investor who -- at the time -- hoped to renovate it.

City officials are trying to contact him, Montgomery said.

The long-vacant house was used as a restaurant in the 1970s and early 1980s and was for sale and priced in the $250,000 range for several years before ultimately selling to Sims for less than $20,000.

The surrounding area -- now flanked by Bobby Jones Expressway and mammoth chemical factories across Sand Bar Ferry Road -- was a 500-acre plantation established by Thomas Goodale in 1740.

Goodale operated the Sand Bar Ferry at the nearby river crossing, in addition to a restaurant and inn, according to early historical accounts.

In 1799, the year the house was built, the site was sold to a Charleston, S.C., merchant named Christopher Fitzsimmons, who later gave the structure to his daughter's new husband, Wade Hampton Jr.

A son, Wade Hampton III, would later become governor of South Carolina.

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countyman
21299
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countyman 08/06/11 - 05:22 pm
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The Central Business

The Central Business District, Artist Row, Olde Town, Waters Edge, Forest Hills, Summerville/Hill, and Midtown are popular places to live in/around downtown.. Over the next few years it'll be intresting to see what neighborhood/area(out of the up and coming group) is the next one to become fully stable. There's Laney Walker, Sand Hills, Bethlehem, Harrisburg, and East Augusta.. Sand Hills, Harrisburg, and Laney Walker have the most advantages.. The Harrisburg side of the neigborhood facing the Hill has manicured lawns. Then there's the Kroc Center, Broad Mill Village, Eve Street Row, First Stop Village, First Stop Center, and the future renovated Martha Lester school.. Those projects will help speed up the process of selling the Sibley Mill(could become nicer the than Enterprise Mill office, retail, residential). The millions of dollars tied to the neighborhood equal great upside for the Laney Walker area. The proximity to the CBD(retail, entertainment, jobs) and MD(students, jobs) is another huge plus for the neighborhood. Sand Hills is the smallest and surrounded by ASU, Summerville, and Forest Hills. The first three streets in Sand Hills are already nice.

raul
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raul 08/06/11 - 04:54 pm
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@counytman, is the 30 million

@counytman, is the 30 million dollar Walton Oaks development something new? What does that entail?

countyman
21299
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countyman 08/06/11 - 05:44 pm
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The Walton Oaks

The Walton Oaks development(300 unit gated community) is the first mixed-income community in the county.. The first phase(four phases in total) Legacy at Walton Oaks(age 55 & up) should open in October and consist of 75 units..

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