Groundbreaking: Revival for Reeves is in sight

By Vivian El-Salawy on January 17, 2018

On the evening of January 16th, 2018, Elm Street Cultural Arts Village invited the community to join them for an event that the Woodstock area and those surrounding have long been waiting for – the groundbreaking event for the revival of the Reeves House.

According to the Cherokee County Historical Society, the Reeves House was built around 1898 by Luther and Carrie Reeves. This home is listed as one of their “Historic Sites Worth Saving”. The couple lived in the home until about 1945, raising eight children, and adding a second story after the birth of their fourth child. At one point, the property included gardens, a barn, privy, corn crib, wood shed, hog pen, and a hen house. Within the past few years, the home has been threatened with neglect. Prior to Elm Street’s ownership of the property, additional threats included potential demolition and redevelopment. However, Elm Street has finally raised the funds to break ground in January of 2018, with the predicted end date for the project lying within the same year.

Image via Elm Street Cultural Arts Village

To date, Elm Street has raised approximately $567,899, according to their website for Revive the Reeves, which is 94% of their goal of a grand total of $600,000. The preservation and rejuvenation of this historical site is crucial to the City of Woodstock, as the house is nearly as old as the city surrounding it.

At the Groundbreaking event, Elm Street Executive Director Christopher Brazelton was joined by Mayor Donnie Henriques, as well as city councilmen, staff, and other members of the community with shovels to finally kickoff the long-awaited project. Local neighbors and community members passed by the event – either on a walk with their dog or out for a run, curious about the progress and excited to see something finally happening.

Image via Vivian El-Salawy

Elm Street has always been a part of the growth of Downtown Woodstock and the larger vibrancy for the area. Having said that, the revival of this house will bring to Woodstock a community space, a maker’s space, and a gallery. As a Maker’s Space, artists will be working in the community 24/7 and there will be classes for people to learn their craft. The gallery will serve the purpose of displaying local and regional art, as well as a cultural driver for the community. The space will also include a coffee shop, which will provide a community space – a space for conversation and vibrancy.

Image via Revive the Reeves

An important key to having raised the current funds was an anonymous donor, who for the month of December, decided to match all donations up to $100,000. However, Elm Street is still 6% away from the total funds they need to raise for the completion of this project. While the new year has already begun, donations are still being taken. For more information on how you can contribute to the development of this project, you can visit: http://www.revivethereeves.org

Vivian El-Salawy is a senior at Florida State University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for FSView & Florida Flambeau, WVFS Tallahassee 89.7 FM, and the Good Life Community magazine, she is a member of the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs and Seminole Sound.

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