One of Gainesville’s most iconic historic buildings has a new owner.
The old Gainesville Cotton Mill building has been purchased by a subsidiary of Morris Multimedia Inc., parent company of The Times media group.
Marked by a distinctive and highly visible smoke stack, the Gainesville Mill building was once the centerpiece of a traditional “mill village” that incorporated some 200 acres of residential properties, a school and textile mill operations in the early 1900s.
The mill, located off Georgia Avenue, began operating in 1902.
Over time and under various ownerships, the residential properties were sold off. The Gainesville Mill School, which had served youngsters living in the area, burned in 1973 and was not rebuilt. The mill ultimately ceased operating in 1985.
The property was given to the city by Milliken in 1986, and Adams Transfer and Storage owner Jimmy Adams purchased it in 1992.
An interest in the preservation and repurposing of historic properties is part of the culture of the Morris Company.
In Savannah, where the company is headquartered, president Charles H. Morris Sr. purchased one of the largest remaining tracts in the city’s historic district and has renovated the Trustees’ Garden property into a modern event center. Work is now being done on preservation and renovation of buildings on the Trustees’ Garden property.
Charles H. Morris Jr., group publisher of the company’s North Georgia media companies, including The Times, said there are no immediate plans for the Gainesville Mill property, which will continue to house Adams Transfer and Storage for the immediate future.
“As a company, we are interested in finding ways to preserve historic landmarks when it makes good business sense to do so, and we hope to do exciting things with the Gainesville Mill eventually. Our experience with the Trustees’ Garden in Savannah has shown us what a valuable community asset these historic structures can be,” Morris said.
“With our ownership of The Times, we are very committed to Gainesville and North Georgia. Our purchasing of the historic Gainesville Mill is evidence of the faith we have in this area and our intention to continue investing in its future, as well as its past.”