FOLEY – Repairs and preservation work are planned at the building that houses the Foley Art Center, one of the oldest structures in the city, following action by the City Council.

The council voted Tuesday, Jan. 2, to approve replacing rotten siding and to encapsulate the foundation at the building on North McKenzie Street. Jeff Phillips, Foley construction manager, said the work will help preserve the historic structure.

“This is one of the oldest houses,” he said. “Over the years, there have been methods taken to try and stop this moisture from buckling the floors. This encapsulation will completely seal the underside so no moisture will get to those floors.”

He said the siding is also in need of replacement.

“Over the years, the siding had been painted over when it rotted, and it just keeps showing back up,” Phillips said. 

He said some siding was replaced in the past and the current project should remove the rest of the damaged wood.

The building was constructed around 1905, before Foley was incorporated in 1915. The structure housed the office of Claude Peteet Real Estate for several decades. The office closed after Peteet’s death in the 1960s and was not used again for almost 50 years.

The building was later acquired by the city of Foley and now houses the Foley Art Center.