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One of Cobb’s oldest homes is $440k away from expanding historic venue

For the William Root House these days, it’s in with the old.

The home to one of Marietta’s first merchants might get an 875-square-foot cabin from the 1830s to serve as an event space at the already-historic property, 80 N. Marietta Parkway.

Cobb Landmarks estimates the project will cost $600,000. The group said it has acquired about a third of the money it needs. With hopes to raise the rest, the organization said it does not want to incur any debt on the project.

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The fundraising campaign and construction would take between three and five years, the organization said.

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Ryan Yurcaba with Historical Concepts designed the plan.

"As an architectural firm that studies historic precedent to inform our designs, we were intrigued by this vision to bridge past, present and future,” he said in a statement.

Root House volunteer Katie Gobbi explains to visitors at the Marietta museum how an 1850s middle-class family prepared food. (H.M. Cauley for the AJC)

The Manning Cabin was owned by David Irwin, owner of Marietta's Oakton property, which 175 years later is a museum of its own, during the 1850s before the Mannings lived there during the Civil War.

The cabin was originally located on Macland Road, has moved around Cobb County throughout the years but was “lovingly reconstructed” one log at a time on the Manning family’s Powder Springs property about 25 years ago, said Cobb Landmarks.

The Mannings donated the cabin to the preservation group at the request of a family member whose health was failing and wished for the property to continue to survive.

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Once on the Root museum and garden property, the cabin will get an expansion adding executive offices, a research library, conference room, restrooms and a kitchen.

The Root home, which survived Union General Sherman’s destructive path to Atlanta, gets many visitors every year but could use some help.

The preservation organization said the additional space will allow it to increase visitation numbers by hosting temporary and traveling exhibitions, lectures and educational programs.

After a 20-year effort, the 1845 Root House in Marietta won a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Now, it might get an even-older piece of Cobb County history. (H.M. Cauley for the AJC)

“Cobb Landmarks has been successful in attracting thousands of preservationists, tourists, teachers, college students and school-age children to the Root House Museum every year. However, a lack of space limits the types of programs and number of visitors Cobb Landmarks can accommodate,” the group said. 

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All the permitting and allowances were approved by the Marietta City Council in December.

“We are honored to work with the forward-thinking team at Cobb Landmarks to ensure a purposeful future for an increasingly rare trace of Cobb County's architectural heritage,” said Yurcaba.

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