Chamber hires contractor

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce has hired Tray Earnest of Troy as the contractor for the baseline study to determine the historic significance of the buildings in downtown Troy and the areas that connect to the city’s historic College Street residential area.

Kathy Sauer, Chamber president, said the Chamber put out bids to recommended contractors all across Alabama and in neighboring states.

“Among the many required qualifications, each contractor had to be certified in historic preservation work and had to be insured,” Sauer said. “Tray Earnest met all of the qualifications and he has agreed to work beyond the contract to look outside the specified areas to see if there are structures that should be preserved because of their historic significance.

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“Because Tray lives in Troy, he has a personal interest in the historical preservation of our community. We are proud to have him on board with this project.”

Earnest said the primary goal of the baseline survey is to conduct an inventory of historic buildings in the downtown area.

“Many of the surviving historic buildings in downtown Troy meet the criteria for inclusion in the Alabama Register of Historic Places, and some may also be eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places,” Earnest said. “Troy’s historic downtown is a focal point for community activities and helps anchor our community identity within a location that dates back to Troy’s original foundation in 1838.

“This survey will provide an inventory of surviving historic buildings, and gather information necessary for determining each building’s eligibility for inclusion in the Alabama Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.

“Information from this baseline survey can be used in developing walking tours of historic Troy, assist in pursuing grants for downtown revitalization and assist in developing historic tourism initiatives.”

Earnest said the historic research phase of the survey and initial lot-by-lot inventory of buildings are underway.

If a building/structure is determined to be historically significant, it will be so designated in the baseline study. However, the property owners will be responsible for making application to the Alabama Historical Commission for listing on the Alabama Register, if such designation is desired.

Sauer said the Chamber received a $15,000 grant from the Alabama Historical Commission to conduct the survey.

“The grant was a part of a one-time grant to the state and we are appreciative of the opportunity to have a base-line study done for the downtown area and the specified residential areas,” Sauer said. “The study will identify the buildings that meet the historic criteria. The buildings must be age specific and original to the way they were built. The survey will be looking at the exteriors of a building, not the interior.”

A building will also qualify if it is the site of a historic event or has a connection to someone of significance in the community.

Sauer said the baseline survey will be the marker for preserving the history and architecture of the downtown Troy area.

“It will show how we identify ourselves,” she said. “The survey will expose our roots and will preserve our uniqueness.”