|Roof damage, Gibson Cottage, March 2015. Photo courtesy of Preservation Bath.|
Gibson Cottage - Warm Springs, Virginia
Significance: Built around 1840 and used as the Warm Springs Hotel manager’s residence, the Gibson Cottage is one of the last remaining original buildings from the hotel’s important mid‐19th century expansion that transformed the county seat of Bath Court House into a welcoming stop on the Virginia springs summer circuit. The cottage survived the razing of the hotel in 1925 and served as a residence for the next sixty‐seven years.
Threat: The current owner, Natural Retreats, purchased it in 2013 and has expressed interest in renovating it. The structure is currently open to the elements and deteriorating and is now listed for possible demolition by the County in 2015. Bath County residents have expressed concern about its possible loss.
Solution: Natural Retreats has stated its intent to save the Cottage. We urge that the owner take action now to protect the site from further deterioration or transfer ownership to another entity that will utilize the building. The cottage, if saved and restored, could play an integral role in telling the history of the Warm Springs Pools.
Elizabeth Kostelny, Preservation Virginia, announcing the listing in May 2015 with an overgrown Gibson Cottage in the background.
Update: Following the May 2015 Most Endangered Historic Sites listing on-site announcement, in mid-June, two volunteers spent four days removing invasive vegetation, cutting down the dead tree that was leaning against the cottage, cutting the grass, and generally clearing the overgrown landscape around the cottage. Following up on their restatement to take steps to stabilize the structure, Natural Retreats just recently engaged John Airgood, of Alexander Nicholson, to begin step one of stabilizing the Gibson Cottage. This will involve removal of the front porch and the entire rear addition and the installation of a temporary roof. Prior to removal, there are plans to measure and salvage the architectural features that are deemed significant, like the front porch posts. Work is scheduled to begin the last week in August.
Gibson Cottage, March 2015. Photo courtesy of Preservation Bath.
|Gibson Cottage, June 2015, following clearing of vegetation by volunteers. Photo courtesy of Preservation Bath.|
Philip Deemer with Preservation Bath at: firstname.lastname@example.org