by: Diana Davis Updated:
CARROLLTON, Ga. - An historic Carroll County mansion may face the wrecking ball.
The new owner has the OK to tear down the more than 100-year-old house. But a small but noisy group outside Carollton’s Maple Street Mansion told Channel 2’s Diana Davis they want to save it.
The now crumbling Victorian house was built in 1890, complete with a turret, gingerbread trim and a grand staircase.
Dr. Thomas Fitzgerald is the great grandson of the man who had the home built.
“And it was the first house in the county with indoor plumbing and electricity,” Fitzgerald said.
L.C. Mandeville built the home for his new bride. His Carrollton cotton mill and the jobs it provided put Carrollton on the map.
“Generations of families had income that came from this family, the churches here were built because of him,” said resident Mimi Gentry.
More recently the house was a restaurant. It sat empty and crumbling for the last several years.
The new owner agreed to buy only if the city agreed to a demolition permit, Fitzgerald told Davis.
“When I first heard that the house might be torn down, I just came by and sat in the front yard for a while and just looked at it,” Fitzgerald said.
Davis spoke to the representative of the new owner. He told her that ideally he would love to save the house but it will cost a pretty penny to put all this back together again.
It would take more than repairing broken windows and the decaying roof. It would be a massive restoration project.
“It takes a lot of money to maintain something of this age, but it’s got great bones,” Fitzgerald said.
Gentry grew up in Carrollton. She started a “save the mansion” Facebook page.
It already has more than 8,000 likes. Davis asked her if she believes all that social media enthusiasm would translate to people willing to donate money for restoration.
No one knows yet exactly how much it would cost to repair the place and bring it up to code, but the guess is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.