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BOE demolishes potential historic home
I-Robinson home pic1
In December Plennie Robinsons old home sat dilapidated on the side of Hwy. 9 N. in Dawsonville. The board of education planned to tear down the home to build a driveway, while city officials wanted to preserve the home. - photo by Allie Dean Dawson County News

Angie Smith, city council member, declared during last week's Historical Preservation Commission meeting that the home of former educator and sister-in-law to Herbert Robinson, Plennie Robinson, had been demolished.

Smith and the HPC had been working to save the home at 534 Hwy. 9 N. from demolition after the Dawson County Board of Education, who owns the property, announced their intention to tear down the house in September 2016.

Smith approached the board then about the potential historic significance of the house, which was built in 1948. The BOE told Smith that the city could have the house so long as they moved it elsewhere, as they were planning to build a driveway to Hightower Academy on the property.

To Smith and the rest of the HPC, moving the house would take away a lot of its historical context, and also be a large expense.

Smith proposed that the BOE allow the city council time to have the home appraised to see how much it would cost to move and renovate the home. Her ultimate wish was that the home remain and that the board find a way to build the driveway around it.

Smith presented a recently completed historical resource survey at the board's Feb. 13 meeting and answered a few questions about the house.

The next day, she received an email from Damon Gibbs, the superintendent, stating that if the city had no interest in moving the house, the negotiations would end and the board would move ahead with demolition as planned.

Smith wrote in a response that the city could not proceed with plans to move the house due to cost.

"[The HPC] are very proud of our preservation efforts and will continue to work toward that end, even in the face of this setback," Smith wrote. "We also appreciate the offer to give [the city] the home to move, however, after consulting a mover, this particular home is cost prohibitive for us to move to another location and still have renovation plans to fund on top of those moving expenses."

The BOE obtained a demolition permit to tear down the house, even though the city has no jurisdiction over the board and was not required to.

The house was bulldozed on Feb. 20, leaving only the stone foundation behind.