During the past several months there have been intensified discussions regarding longstanding issues at the Harper Fowlkes House. First: the roof on house is 30 years old. It needs to be replaced and the cupola windows rebuilt before we have a failure that results in damage to the interior of the house. Second: the Georgia Society is experiencing significant growth. During the past six years we have admitted 38 new members, which is more than were admitted in the previous twelve years. While growth is essential for the Society, it has resulted in the Society outgrowing its meeting space on the second floor. This is a good problem to have, but one that needs to be properly addressed.
These two issues have resulted in the Georgia Society undertaking a complete renovation of the third floor of the Harper Fowlkes House. This project has been deferred for years because the approximate $150,000 cost has been beyond the scope of what our Society could afford. On December 3, 2018 we have received a $75,000 commitment from a very generous Georgia Society member and a challenge to our Society to raise the additional $75,000.
The third floor of the Harper Fowlkes House has not ever been used by the Georgia Society. When the house was renovated in the 1990s, heating and air conditioning and all new electrical was installed. Plumbing was roughed in for the two bathrooms and the kitchen on the floor. However, due to a lack of funds, no further work was done on the floor.
The 2019 renovation plan calls for us to tear out the wall between the two large rooms on the south side of the hall and make it into a large meeting room that will seat 60 people. The room will have new stackable chairs, audio visual equipment, a large screen TV, an LCD projector and the ability to live stream video. The room on the north side of the hall facing Barnard will be a Conference Room. It will be furnished with a conference table and chairs and will have a wall of built-in bookcases and lockable file cabinets for the storage of our record. We will also have two bathrooms, a small kitchen and a bedroom for use by out of town members when visiting Savannah.
With the initial $75,000 commitment, we now have the ability to secure our beautiful headquarters and be better prepared for the future. The Standing Committee has approved the plan and its members have donated generously toward the project. To reach our $75,000 goal, I am asking that all of our members to contribute to this worthy project to make it a reality.
Please make your checks payable to the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Georgia and mail your checks care of Beth Owens, 6 Wild Thistle Lane, Savannah, GA 31406.
I greatly appreciate those members who have already committed. Please contact me if you have any questions.
R. Vincent Martin III
Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Georgia