Greenville and Laurens County
The Bill and Woo Thomason Preservation Fund has been established by Preservation South Carolina as a revolving preservation fund to identify, purchase, stabilize, maintain, market and/or sell historic properties in Greenville and Laurens Counties. The fund is designed to create incentives for history minded citizens to participate in local preservation initiatives.
Preservation SC has successfully saved dozens of irreplaceable historic structures all over the state through its statewide endangered places fund. Several of Greenville and Laurens county historic buildings have benefited from Preserve SC’s involvement already. Some of our first easements were developed to protect Laurens' unusual Octogan House and we took a lead role in successfully raising money to help fund the move of the Wilkins House to its new location on Mill's Avenue in 2014. We are currently working alongside the new owners of the Franklin Fox Beattie House to ensure the rehab meets the guidelines of the Preservation Easement we hold . While this fund is solely for preservation of historic properties in Greenville and Laurens Counties, like other Preserve SC initiatives, expenditures will be returned to the fund upon the sale or lease of the piece of property for which the expenditures were made. A condition of the Fund is that Preservation SC must retain a preservation easement on any property the fund preserves.
The Preservation SC Board of Directors decided to name the Fund in honor of Bill and Woo Thomason out of respect for their dedication to local preservation, as well as Preservation SC, both having served in leadership positions on the organization's board in the past. We have combined Laurens County and Greenville County out of respect of Bills birthplace in Laurens and Woos birthplace in Greenville. Their tragic death in 2013 came at the same time that Bill and Woo were working with our staff to develop an advocacy position regarding the demolition concerns of the Wilkins House. We are confident they would be very proud of the success in moving and saving the Wilkins House.
For 25 years, Preservation SC has helped to deliver to local communities a statewide perspective with statewide solutions," said Michael Bedenbaugh, executive director of Preservation SC. "We are excited to help develop local solutions that could educate a statewide audience. Greenville County has wonderful historic places that could certainly benefit from preservation. “The Fund will establish a real estate committee of local residents who have a deep understanding of local history in both Greenville and Laurens County, historic preservation issues, local real estate matters and a dedication to preserving the county's historic structures. Though the Advisory Board members have yet to be named, Preservation SC Board Member Kelly Odom will lead the group and oversee its formation.
Procedures for the Bill and Woo Thomason Preservation Fund of Greenville project selection:
- Priority is given to threatened properties in Greenville and Laurens County that cannot be saved by the for-profit, private or public sectors.
- Saving historic properties is the fund's top priority, but other at-risk resources, such as historic landscapes, can be eligible.
- The local real estate committee will first determine a property's status, risks, and priority, then make recommendations to Preservation SC Board of Directors.
Criteria considered for properties selection:
- The Property must be within one of the counties highlighted in the map to the right.
- Architectural and historical significance of the property.
- Current condition and estimated stabilization cost for the property.
- Possible threats to the property.
- Appropriateness of any proposed use and rehabilitation work.
- Geographic location.
- Amount of staff time needed to manage the project.
- Length of time fund monies will be tied up.
- Maximum investment per project.
- Likelihood of finding an appropriate buyer.
Donations to the fund can be mailed to:
The Bill and Woo Thomason Preservation Fund of Greenville
PO Box 506
Prosperity, SC 29127
If you have any interest in:
- Helping us with information on an endangered historic house you have concerns about in Greenville or around Greenville County
- Donation of an easement to protect your historic home
- Donation of a historic property
You can also drop us a line:
Preservation South Carolina
PO Box 506
Prosperity, SC 29127
Preservation SC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Fed ID # 57-0913191.
Your generous contributions to the Bill and Woo Thomason Endangered Places Fund of Greenville are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.