The skin was ripped off this 1890s home on Piedmont Avenue as it undergoes some much needed renovation. It’s next to the Shellmont Inn; the house to the right of this one was restored fairly recently and serves as apartments. (Taken with instagram)

The skin was ripped off this 1890s home on Piedmont Avenue as it undergoes some much needed renovation. It’s next to the Shellmont Inn; the house to the right of this one was restored fairly recently and serves as apartments. (Taken with instagram)

The city where I grew up, Woodstock, is maturing in a beautiful way.  While visiting my parents I made a trek down Main Street to take in the changes.  It seems like every time I go back there’s something new and/or different than the last time I was there.  The Woodstock Downtown project started by Hedgewood Properties has garnered international attention for its planning and design sophistication, and now the original commercial strip opposite the development is getting the renovations it’s needed for decades.  It’s nice to see the momentum isn’t slowing, not one bit.

The various bad remodeling jobs that had occurred to Woodstock’s historic strip were a big reason why I became interested in historic preservation as a kid.  I wanted to know what the buildings originally looked like, when they had been changed, and what process it would take to get them back to their period appearance.  So it’s extra satisfying to see this work being done, even if it is a decade+ later.  

The pharmacy’s reveal has probably been the most dramatic, since that ca. 1971 aluminum canopy was so extremely awful.  The windows weren’t exactly restored, and the metal strip that remains on the cornice is distracting, but it’s so cool to see that thing gone.  Woodstock’s fortunate to retain a full-service (independent!) pharmacy downtown for the convenience of nearby residents. 

Under that, the storefronts that housed the Woodstock Gas Company for ages have also been restored.  The bay on the left looks amazing with its original skinny windows and wooden double doors.  

The bottom pictures depict what used to be Delilah’s Den of Antiquity, at least when I was growing up.  Second story windows have been reinstalled, and the striped awning is cute.  But I hate that the pressed glass transom (the set’s top photo) seems to have been removed in the process and the opening covered up.  I always imagined it would have been gorgeous with the paint removed and light streaming through the various patterns once again.  Hopefully it didn’t end up in the dumpster.

These are photos from my venture inside Midtown’s Fort Peace (aka “The Castle”) during one of CIRCA's behind-the-scenes tours in 2009.  The building was for sale at that time, and it was in pretty rough shape.  There's so much great history behind this structure.  For instance, the plaster seals above the fireplaces are reported to have come from buildings at the Cotton States & International Exposition held in Piedmont Park in 1895.  It was also an important site for the Beat/bohemian/hippie scene of the 1950s-1960s.  Work is currently underway to transform Fort Peace into a restaurant and hotel, so hopefully it’ll continue to be a landmark for years to come.