No one was injured in the building at 4378 Northside Drive, which serves as the home of Historic Acworth Antiques.
The shop was not an operating business.
The name of the driver of the white van was not released, but Capt. Mark Cheatham with the Acworth police said one of the passengers was taken to the hospital. The injuries were not serious.
Cheatham said the driver thought his car had a mechanical problem and it accelerated into the historic building. The accident happened around 5 p.m.
The cause of the crash is still being investigated, and no other vehicles were involved, said Cheatham.
Railroad tracks run very near the front of the building, with a narrow one-way street on the side.
Cheatham said to expect road closures for the next couple days in the fourth block area on Old Cherokee Street from Northside Drive to Taylor Street and on Northside Drive from Lemon Street to School Street.
Mayor Tommy Allegood said the building’s owner, Tom Bretherton, lives on the property part time with his wife, Maureen.
The couple was in the building at the time of the wreck, but were at the other end of the room and were not injured, according to a city official.
City engineers and the fire department were at the scene Thursday evening to assess the structural damage.
The building is valued at $139,740 for tax purposes, according the Cobb County Tax Assessor’s Office website.
Abbie Parks, chairwoman of the Cobb County Historic Preservation Commission, said the building was part of the original downtown that was developed in 1842, spurred by the construction of the railroad.
Community members Thursday night were not willing to call the building a total loss.
Allegood said workers cleaning the area are attempting to salvage the brick so it can be used to rebuild the structure.
Parks said the local brick work could date back to at least the 1870s, which was right after the town was incorporated in 1860 and a fire destroyed many of the properties in 1864. Most of downtown Acworth was burned by Gen. William Sherman in 1864.
The book, “Images of America: Acworth,” says that in 1885, a wooden structure on the site across Cherokee Street from Awtrey Corner housed the H.W. Kitchen and H.M. Williams general merchandise store. In the 1930s, the book reports, Acworth Laundry was located in the brick building later built on the site, and the Conway-Noland Toys moved there in the 1940s.
Parks described the long-time owners as “active historians and restoration folks.”
Historic Acworth Antiques is across the railroad tracks from Main Street near City Hall in Acworth’s Downtown Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.