Stanford expands Renaissance district

August 20, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - While the Harvey Helm Memorial Library board will not apply for a $250,000 grant, City Council members voted Tuesday night to apply for the money for use elsewhere, such as renovating the Helm Meeting House on Main Street.

Council members voted to expand the city's Renaissance district to mirror the historic district Tuesday night, to include the building in the area that is eligible for grant money.

The Helm Meeting House, formerly Stanford Presbyterian Church, was built in the late 1700's and has survived decades of transformations and storms, including a cyclone.

Mayor Eddie Carter said, if the city is awarded the grant, the money will be used to install central heat and air, plumbing and electric in the hopes of attracting tourists.


The building had been used by the library as a museum, but has since become property of the Lincoln County Historical Society.

Studies of the building have already uncovered some of the original logs used to build the house, currently covered by vinyl siding.

"They're in good shape. It's really a unique building, and to be in that good shape after 200 some years, I think it's a historic treasure," said Carter.

Lincoln County Historical Society President Irene Snow Jaggers spoke in favor of preserving the property.

"This church is very, very important. We want to put it back the way it was," said Jaggers. "The house is not falling down, but the foundation needs to be worked on, and I'm no expert."

Jaggers said the historical society would like a place to "hang their hats" beside the church, a sort of base camp for the society while helping tourists research genealogy and town history.

The City Council will have to write the grant application by the Aug. 29 deadline.

"We're going to go after the grant, and we have faith that we're going to get it," said Jaggers.

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