/PRNewswire/ -- The rich historic culture of Macon, Ga., the city known as the "song and soul of the South," will be showcased during the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation's Annual Meeting & Spring Ramble and the Georgia Statewide Preservation Conference March 31 – April 3.
For four days, Trust members, guests, preservation professionals and others interested in saving and preserving Georgia's historic places will tour more than 20 historic sites and private homes in the area, attend preservation seminars, and recognize top projects throughout the state with awards of excellence for preservation.
The Georgia Statewide Preservation Conference, the first segment of the event, will be held March 31-April 1. The keynote address will be delivered at Thursday morning's opening plenary session by Donovan Rypkema, who is recognized nationally as a leading expert in the economics of preserving historic structures. Mr. Rypkema will share the results of a recently completed study on the economic benefits of preservation in Georgia. The session starts at 11 a.m. in the Douglass Theatre.
Friday evening, guests will attend the 34th Annual Preservation Awards ceremony, which salutes projects and individuals for exceptional work in the fields of restoration, rehabilitation and preservation throughout the state. The awards ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Douglass Theatre, a historic theater that hosted musical legends such as Ma Rainey, Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. Following the ceremony, guests will dine inside the grand ballroom at the beautifully restored Armory Ballroom.
The Georgia Trust will hold its Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 2, at 10 a.m. at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church. Meeting attendees will hear an update on the "State of Preservation in Georgia" from Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of The Georgia Trust.
One of the most highly anticipated components of the weekend is the "Spring Ramble," an exciting way for guests to tour Macon's historic architectural treasures and meet others interested in preservation. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, guests will have the opportunity to tour more than 20 historic private residences and other historic sites, including the rarely seen Villa Albacini, an exquisite 1922 house modeled after the Baroque Chapel of the Villa Arvedi in Italy, which hasn't been open to the public for over 25 years.
As the former home to Southern Rock pioneers, the Allman Brothers, the Ramble will also feature special tours of the Big House Museum, where members of the band lived early in their career; Capricorn Recording Studio, where the band recorded hit records; and Rose Hill Cemetery, the final resting place of two of its members.
The weekend ends with a Sunday brunch at the Woodruff House, a beautifully restored Greek Revival house donated to Mercer University by George Woodruff, brother of former Coca-Cola president Robert Woodruff. Guests will also enjoy a special behind-the-scenes tour of Hay House, a property of The Georgia Trust, featuring all seven levels of the mansion, including its spring house and newly restored dining room.
The Georgia Trust's Annual Meeting and Spring Ramble is made possible by generous support from the Knight Fund for Macon of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. Co-hosts are Hay House and Historic Macon Foundation. Other partners include the Bibb County Board of Commissioners, City of Macon, College Hill Corridor, Douglass Theatre, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Humanities Council, Macon Bibb County CVB, Mercer University, NewTown Macon, Ocmulgee National Monument, Wesleyan College and Walter Elliott at www.walterelliott.com.
Many registration options are available, ranging in prices from $40 to $250. Guests under 40 can enjoy a discounted rate of $100 for the Annual Meeting, Ramble and all scheduled meals. For more information on the Trust's Annual Meeting & Spring Ramble and the Georgia Statewide Preservation Conference or to register, visit www.GeorgiaTrust.org or call (404) 885-7812.
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