North Augustans push to preserve history at Flythe building

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - After years of conversation, the North Augusta City Council decided to move forward last year with a plan to re-develop the old Flythe property into the new public safety headquarters.

Mayor Briton Williams tells us Wednesday that to do that, the old Flythe building may have to get torn down.

But local groups and organizations say they don’t want the history inside to go to waste.

It’s a process the mayor says the city council has been discussing for months on how to preserve that history.

The buildings are full of history dating back to when North Augusta was founded.

Before they can be torn down to be turned into the new public safety headquarters, the North Augusta Arts and Heritage Center is going in to see what they can salvage and add to the museum.

“We have about four artists who will be going into or around the property to reclaim pieces that we can use in our museum and also re-purpose,” said Executive Director of the Arts and Heritage Center, Mary Anne Bigger.

This comes after a partnership with the city that will allow them to take any materials they find and put them on public display.

“In the resolution that was signed by the city council, we have 20 days to go in and extract items that we would like to,” said Bigger.

It’s the solution the city council reached after hearing from the community about ideas to preserve those historic buildings.

Mayor Williams said: “We had numerous meetings for people to come forward and we did that over a period of time.”

He says they even met with some non-profits who initially expressed interest in preserving those buildings.

“We did spend a good bit of time with those organizations, talking about what that would look like and giving them the information that we knew about it, and I think eventually it was their determination that it didn’t make sense for those organizations,” said Mayor Williams.

But eventually, they decided it was time to move forward with the project for public safety.

“We need to give them the resources they need, and that is to help our citizens so we can’t wait any longer,” he said.

As they work towards building something new, the Center for Arts and Heritage is excited to preserve something old.

Bigger said: “We feel very lucky. We enjoy working with the city on doing any type of preservation that we can do.”

The museum does not know what or when those pieces will be featured. That all depends on what they find inside.

They’re hoping to go in and start that process next week.

We reached out to the city administrator to find out the timeline for the completion of this new project. They are hoping to have the buildings torn down by the end of the year.