Plans for a new deck on the back side of the historic Hillyer House, 2 Coral Ave., were approved by the Rome Historic Preservation Commission Wednesday. Colyn White, a redeveloper from Cartersville, is nearing the completion of a long and expensive overhaul of the home that was gutted in a fatal fire in November 2005.
“I have a door to nowhere,” White told the HPC. Board member Beth Dunay explained that at some point there was a porch in the area where White wants to put the deck.
The HPC was required to authorize the project because the new deck will be visible from the public right-of-way.
The project was approved with a slight change to the type of wooden posts that surround the deck. HPC Chairman Audrey Kendrick suggested they use scaled-down versions of the posts that are being used on the front porch of the home.
The home has been bought and sold several times since the fire that killed Jill Rene Andrews. GMAC foreclosed on the property in September of 2009 and sold it for $3,500 two months later. Those owners held it until August of 2014 when it was sold again for $20,000. That buyer held the home and worked on it off and on for almost four years before selling it to White in April of 2018 for $60,000.
The home is has five bedrooms, four full-baths and two-half baths. It has approximately 6,200 square feet of livable space. White’s father, Shawn White, said it has close to 2 miles of electrical lines in it along with a half mile of plumbing lines.
“That house had been architecturally stripped on the inside and we’re constantly looking for pieces, like the original fireplaces,” Colyn said. Anyone with knowledge of where some of the items from the home may be located are encouraged to comment on their Facebook page The Hillyer House at 2 Coral Avenue. Shawn White said he was confident that many of the items which had been taken are probably still in the Rome area.
White and his son have close to $170,000 in the house at this point, with plenty of work to be completed and a lot of bills yet to be paid. It is already on the market for $950,000.
“It still has a special-use permit for a bed and breakfast,” Colyn said.
The HPC also approved new roofing for property at 412 E. Second St. across from the city’s iconic Clocktower. The new architectural shingles will replace a hodgepodge of roofing material, mostly metal, that is now on top of the building. Real estate agent Jimmy Kelley said the shingles would be very similar to those of several surrounding buildings.
Assistant City Manager Patrick Eidson told the panel that Brandie Townsend has been nominated to fill the position that is being vacated by Harry Wise after the June meeting. Townsend is expected to receive final approval from the city commission next week.