Could Powder Springs be home to Cobb County’s next historic district?

The idea came up at a recent Powder Springs Downtown Development Authority meeting when staff liaison Ashley Youmans reported on the possibility.

Powder Springs is a city with a great deal of history.

It was originally nicknamed “Gunpowder Springs” because the water in its mineral springs contains minerals that turn the soil around them black.

It was incorporated as Springville in 1838 after prospectors converged on the area after gold was found in Georgia in the late 1820s.

Settlers found small amounts of gold in mines at Lost Mountain and near Brownsville Road, and they also found seven mineral water springs in the city.

The city changed its name to Powder Springs in 1859 and became known for its seven medicinal and therapeutic springs, including in Powder Springs Park.

Youmans said discussion of creating a historic district is still very early, there are no boundaries proposed for any district, and her task was simply to inform the authority about the processes the city would have to undertake if it were to create a historic district.

“It’s still informational at this point,” she said.

Mayor Al Thurman said he thinks it’s a conversation worth having.

“We’re concerned about preserving some of the culture in the downtown area, so we can look about how we can do that. … Certainly it’s going to be a topic of conversation, but that’s about all right now,” he said.

According to Cobb Landmarks, which seeks to preserve historic sites, there are several types of historic designation available in Cobb County, including the National Register of Historic Places as well as local districts.

A national designation recognizes the historic significance of a site, but does not guarantee protection of the historic integrity or require special approval for demolition, whereas local districts do, according to the organization.

Some property owners in historic districts complain of having to jump through hoops when they want to perform cosmetic upgrades, but according to Cobb Landmarks, homes with historic designations are worth 5.6% more and appreciate 1.4% faster than non-designated homes within the same zip code.

A new district would need to appear before the authority again before anything concrete moved forward, and Youmans said no such item has been scheduled.

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