Opponents of a proposed hotel in downtown Dahlonega scored a “cautious victory” Wednesday night when the city’s Historic Preservation Committee denied a request to demolish a historic building to make way for the new development.
The fight over the Jeremiah Payne House, also known as Parks Clothing building, has stirred emotions in the city known for its gold rush lore and historic charm.
The building survived the Civil War and a hotel fire nearby in 1904. It is recognized as the second oldest building standing in the historic district.
Businesswoman Roberta Green Garrett had proposed tearing down the 160-year-old building and replacing it with an upscale hotel along East Main Street.
Garrett will have an opportunity to appeal to the City Council.
A group of Dahlonega and Lumpkin County residents rallying as the Preserve Historic Dahlonega Committee, including Diane and Lamar Bates, vigorously opposed the demolition of the historic building from the outset.
They said the hotel proposal runs counter to the character of the downtown area, which draws an estimated quarter of a million tourists annually.
The Bates told The Times they will remain vigilant and on their toes while Garrett decides whether to appeal.