Time running out for Jackson Victorian home

ALBANY -- The clock is running on an Albany landmark that has stood for more than a century. The light blue Victorian home at 606 North Jackson St. seems to have a date with the wrecking ball unless a solution can be found to save it.

Built in 1888, the two-story home is currently owned by Delta Eta Omega Chapter, a sorority that had been using the property as a meeting house until 2007.

The sorority has been trying to sell the house since 2007 without success, and the property has fallen into a state of disrepair. Estimates to restore the house range from $400,000 to $600,000.

The Dougherty County Tax Assessor values the property at $118,500, so renovation costs far exceed the fair market value of the property.

"At worst, we hope a solution could be reached where we could move the house and restore it at a different location," Albany-Dougherty Preservation Commission Chair Gregory Fullerton said. "The house is 112 years old and has some historical significance, but we're not yet quite sure of the specifics."

On May 10, the sorority filed an application with the commission to demolish the Queen Anne style house and build a new single-story structure suitable for the organization's use as a chapter house.

"On the one hand, I applaud the city's effort to try and work against blight," Fullerton said. "The house is not on the National Register, but this house has some historical significance and we are hoping it can still be saved."

The demolition application came before the commission this week, which voted to table it for a month in hopes that with some publicity a buyer might be found for the house or someone might buy the structure itself and move it to a different location.

The mission of the Albany-Dougherty Historic Preservation Commission is to help preserve Albany's history in the downtown sector and to foster its redevelopment in appropriate and aesthetic ways. It serves under both the Albany City and Dougherty County commissions, both of which make appointments to its board.

The Preservation Commission receives no public funding other than indirect staff support.

For more information about the specifics of the property, contact Josephine Dye-Thomas at Albany Realty.