Historic house in Lawrenceville getting renovation

LAWRENCEVILLE - The windows are still boarded up, but the Isaac-Adair House - the historic house whose move from the path of the Sugarloaf Parkway extension caused the closing of Ga. Highway 20 for a day this year - has a new roof.

The 180-year-old house, along with its commissary, is being stabilized and restored at its new home just south of the Lawrenceville Square, as officials prepare to open it for tours.

"So far we have placed foundation piers under the building, restored the roof, identified manufacturers of a 'hand-made brick' that will be used to rebuild the four chimneys and fireplaces," said Grant Guess, director of parks and recreation project administration, who said the county is getting quotes to add water and power to the site, which adjoins the Female Seminary Building. "There is also a large amount of carpentry work associated with building a porch on the front of the building and restoring the interior as well."

As money hasn't been earmarked from the county sales tax, which was renewed by voters in November, Guess said the department had not determined when the house would be open to the public. But officials plan to make it available for either guided or self-guided tours, using interpretive information about the history of the house and the county and Lawrenceville.

The Isaac-Adair House was built in 1827. It stood at the corner of Pike Street and Hurricane Shoals Road until a developer planned to demolish it to build a shopping center at the lot in the early 1980s.

Then, Phyllis and Marvin Hughes bought the home, labeled its boards, dismantled the house and rebuilt it on Chandler Road. It took the couple 15 years to restore the federal-style home with such care it was placed on the National Register for Historic Places.

When officials discovered it was in the path of the Sugarloaf extension, currently under construction, they made plans to move the house and restore it as a museum.

Guess said about $240,000 has already been put into the restoration, and officials estimate it would take another $1.5 million to add a restroom building and a catering support building and do other site improvements.