Goodale House receives grant to help in restoration

Historic Augusta has received an intervention grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the Goodale House.

Historic Augusta has received an intervention grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the Goodale House east of downtown.

The $5,000 grant will be used to develop a stabilization plan and a structural analysis to help determine what needs to happen to properly restore the building at 745 Sand Bar Ferry Road, according to a Wednesday announcement.

The building’s structure was compromised a year ago when the west wall and chimneys collapsed. Owner Wes A. Sims said he’s been working to maintain the rest of the building, but restoration has been at a standstill because this type of analysis needed to be done before construction could proceed. That costs money he does not have, he said.

“That’s one thing this grant will help with,” he said.

Historic Augusta Director Erick Montgomery said there are four steps in restoration of a project like this. Step one is to secure the site so there is no further damage, which has been done by building temporary supports where the wall once stood. Step two is to evaluate what needs to be done. Step three is to develop a budget for the project, and step four is doing it.

“This is a Step Two thing,” he said of the grant. “This will help us figure out how it should be done.”

The Goodale House was built in 1799 by Charleston, S.C., attorney Charles Fitzsimmons on a 500-acre plantation that had been established by Thomas Goodale in 1740. Fitzsimmons later presented the house to his son-in-law, Wade Hampton Jr. Hampton’s son, Wade Hampton III, became governor of South Carolina in 1877.

The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The two-and-a-half story building housed a restaurant during the 1970s and ’80s, but has been vacant since the 1990s.

Though the house had been on the market a few years ago for more than $250,000, Sims bought it in 2009 for less than $20,000.

He said there has been no further structural damage since the wall’s collapse in August, but a couple of months ago vandals broke into the basement and cut all the copper wiring and copper plumbing. The house had just been rewired within the past few years, he said.

He plans to restore the building to its former glory and turn it into a self-sustaining business such as a bed and breakfast.

“It’s got so much history that we want to share, so it’s going to be some sort of destination,” he said.

Sims said the house will soon change ownership to the Historic Home Preservation Society, a nonprofit he has created in the hopes of securing grant money to help with preservation.

Saving the Goodale is its primary focus.

“It’s open for other properties in time. This is our little baby right now,” he said.

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