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Jimmy

“The main reason I decided to live downtown was, actually, proximity to work. With the office being only two blocks away…

The office has been there since 1987, and my grandfather built it. He started our dental practice in 1954 in the Southern United building on the corner of Martin Luther King and Cherry. We’ve always been downtown.

 

I can’t believe this is the place I grew up in. I was excited about coming, moving back to town. When I was looking for a house, we joked that I wouldn’t look at anything on the other side of the interstate. I looked at a lot of houses that have been improved and redone…and living next door to Joe and Evelyn….you know, they…I felt like I took a page out of their book.

 

If I was gonna live downtown and be kind of a downtown person, I needed to earn my stripes and redo one. I wanted to put my mark on, you know, and add to everything that’s going on.

 

You know it’s like an avalanche. The more people that get involved and the more we’re all improving, the better it is for everybody. So, I wanted to use the historic tax credit program. And, with some advice from Kim and the folks at Historic Macon, I figured I would find a cheap place that needed a lot of work and go from there. I had the confidence, though, to do it because of my mom. You know, she’s redone a bunch of places to use for executive offices. She’s repurposed some places.

 

I think Arlington Place is the most underestimated street in all of downtown. There are some beautiful homes. And, they’re all pretty old. You know, a lot of 1850s, 1860s, 1870s. I have realized that there’s always something to be done.

 

I’m having a blast. I’ve got great neighbors. Living on Arlington Place is almost like a little neighborhood. It’s a lot quieter. There’s a lot less traffic. We’ve got The Brick.

I just wish we could get a bakery.

 

I like to think that because of something that I did, that other young people can say, ‘If that guy can do it, I can do that, too.’ Because I think that’s what we need. Momentum. It’s all momentum.

 

Hopefully what I can do for the community is be a part of that support system for Macon as a whole. You know, the more we do for the community, the more we support everybody else.

 

My mother…and Historic Macon, they were part of my support system.

 

I would hope that my legacy could be: This guy turned a crappy house into a really nice place to live. And if I don’t live there forever, hey, somebody else can enjoy it. But, I think that if we can just turn around one at a time.

 

I told myself when I got done, ‘I am never doing this again.’ I think it’s probably…I’ve never had a baby…but it’s probably like pregnancy. After you’ve had the baby, you’re just ready to do it again! So, I think I’ve gotten to that point.

 

The fact that I know exactly what’s behind all these nooks and crannies, what’s underneath the old plaster, or what’s up underneath the house, the structure of it…I mean, it’s pretty cool to think that, you know, we unearthed all kinds of stuff in terms of what’s been done to the house over the years, little notes and letters and stuff like that which were pretty cool.

 

It’s a real familiarity with the house, more so than any place I’ve lived in before. Kind of like an adopted dog.

 

The house was built in 1865. We found some documentation on my house at the library. They have a registry you can go on and see if your home is in there. One of the things they wrote about my house is that it was architecturally too awkward and imposing on the hillside, or something like that. I was like, ‘Don’t be talkin’ ‘bout my house like that!’

 
It would be hard to give up my house… One of the things I always tell people, even just who come and visit is…really where we came from. Without knowing where we started or we came from, it’s hard to appreciate where we are now. I think that’s probably telling for both a single home renovation and the city as a whole.”

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