Historic Payne-Parks building to become an upscale hotel

Members of the Dahlonega City Council moved unanimously Monday to grant the appeal for the demolition of the historic Payne-Parks Building and replace it with an upscale hotel.

Bruce Hoffman, Dahlonega City Council member, made the motion to grant the appeal for the demolition of the Parks building. (Photo by Erin Higdon)

Bruce Hoffman, Dahlonega City Council member, made the motion to grant the appeal for the demolition of the Payne-Parks building. (Photo by Erin Higdon)

The building, owned by Roberta Green-Garrett and located at 40 East Main St., will be primarily for tourists and University of North Georgia faculty once transformed into a hotel. According to city ordinances, the hotel’s exterior must be styled in a way that is appropriate with the surrounding historical buildings on the Dahlonega square. Demolition of the Parks building is to start soon after the appeal grant is processed.

“I would demolish the (Parks) building tomorrow if the council would let me,” Green-Garret said. “There will not be students from the university living in the hotel, but how do you measure that in days, months or years?”

The Parks Building dated back to the 1840’s and is one of the oldest houses in Dahlonega. The building was home to the first two managers of the Dahlonega gold mine, was seized by the Confederacy during the American Civil War and housed business such as the Dahlonega Cash Store in the 1920’s and the Parks Clothing Company in the 1940’s, according to Dahlonega resident Lamar Bates. 

The Parks Building will remain on the Dahlonega square. (Photo by Erin Higdon)

The Parks Building will remain on the Dahlonega square. (Photo by Erin Higdon)

“This building is a real testament to the founding of this town. It is not a Taj Mahal, but it has history,” Bates said.

The meeting of the Dahlonega City Council and mayor was standing-room only and lasted less than 20 minutes. The motion to grant the appeal for demolition of the Payne-Parks Building was made by councilman Bruce Hoffman. The motion was made because the Payne-Parks Building could not be repaired or renovated within reasonable measure, according to a memorandum made by city manager William E. Schmid.

The building was not located in the historic district of Dahlonega based upon previous zoning, but criteria set in place by the Dahlonega Historic Preservation Commission mandated that the building be repaired or renovated if the cost of doing so was within reasonable measure.

3 Comments on Historic Payne-Parks building to become an upscale hotel

  1. Joanne Schnebelen // February 17, 2016 at 8:30 am // Reply

    The meeting was less than 10 minutes… the person who wrote this article arrived after the meeting was over. I know that they talked to all the people who attended that travesty called a meeting… no offense to the writer how could they have know it would happen that way.

  2. The owner says it will not be made into student housing, but who knows years down the road?… Really? She’s sounds like she might be telling on herself. At a minimum, it only goes to validate our concern of what she might do if the hotel is not successful.

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