Historic Columbus Announces Grant Finalists!

Jul 27, 2017

For Immediate Release

Contact: Callie Hecht

(706)322-0756 or

There are numerous (non-profit or government owned) historic structures in our community that are in need of renovation work (i.e. historic churches, community buildings, theatres, and schools).  Three applications were selected as the finalists for the 2017 Public Participation Grant.  

The next phase of the grant process is to involve you!  In the coming months, Historic Columbus will not only showcase the three project finalists, but also get you more involved and aware of how historic preservation works in our community.

Historic Columbus will host an Open House at each of the sites of the three finalists on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. The public will then be able to vote on their favorite project at  Voting will start on September 23rd and close on October 20th.  The grant winner will be announced at Historic Columbus’ Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 24, 2017.

We are excited to announce our three finalists!

The Springer Opera House, c. 1871, built by Francis Joseph Springer and soon became nationally known as the finest theatre between New York and New Orleans.  The grant would fund a new roof for the theatre, repair damage to the ceiling on the third floor balcony caused by a water leak, and remove the mold from the basement under the saloon.

The Crown Jewel of Columbus’ historic treasures, The Springer Opera House, is also the State Theatre of Georgia and a National Historic Landmark. Tons of tourists and local patrons visit this majestic theatre each year. The Springer is also home to the hundreds of students who participate in classes year-round. To these children, the Springer is their second home. This community also relies on the Springer to continue traditional, artistic and vibrant entertainment. The Springer serves this community in a myriad of ways and it is imperative that we continue this tradition for Columbus, the region and the nation.

The Liberty Theatre Cultural Center, c. 1924, served as a social hub for African Americans having movies and famous entertainers on their stage.  The grant would fund a new roof for the theatre and main lobby and replace the HVAC systems in the theatre, dance studio, dressing rooms, costume workshop, and green room.

The Historic Liberty Theatre merits philanthropic funding because it is one of the only two historic African American theatres in the state, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has a 501c3 designation. Almost 20 years after its restoration, it is again time for the beloved Liberty Theatre to receive upgrades. Venue rentals are an integral part of the theatre’s operating budget and really help to keep the doors open. Restoring the roof and repairing interior damage would allow the space to be utilized for rentals again and provide a more aesthetically pleasing environment. A new HVAC system in the theatre will provide consistent, predictable heating & cooling and restore patron/rental client trust thus increasing revenue. A heating and cooling system added to the dance studio will allow the space to once again become an additional revenue stream for the facility. Lastly, a heating and cooling system in dressing room area will provide a more comfortable environment for actors, performers, costumers, and special guests needing to utilize those areas during shows and events. Ultimately, it is time for the Liberty to again be restored to its original splendor and give the community at large a venue reminiscent of its glory days!

The Wynn House, c. 1839, Greek Revival mansion that has been lived in by a number of Columbus’ leading citizens.  The grant would fund the repair and replacement of the balustrade and supporting structure on the uppermost portion of the roof, the cupola. This includes replacement of the balusters and rains, repairing to mounting points, and repair of the dormer structure. The existing wood balusters and rail will be replaced. The roof will be replaced. The entire house will be cleaned and painted.

We are more than just a house! We are active participants in the economy of MidTown, helping to guarantee its future.  By connecting with the community through philanthropic programs and cultural events, we ensure that the public directly participates in Columbus’ history. History grows by being shared! Help the Wynn House continue to educate the public about the past while engaging them in the present through preservation, history, art, etiquette, and culinary experiences.

If you have any questions, please contact the Callie Hecht at 706-322-0756 or