The Williams-Payne House and Museum at Heritage Sandy Springs is closed for “minor” renovations. The plan is reopen later this year with a folk art collection display, but the next new, full exhibit is not coming until 2019.

The Williams-Payne House is an 1860s farmhouse that was relocated to 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, now part of Heritage’s historic site. The renovations will be interior only, not affecting the building’s exterior.

The Williams-Payne House and Museum at Heritage Sandy Springs. (File/John Ruch)

“These changes include modernizing the appearance, painting, updating some lighting, and making some minor layout changes so the flow of the exhibits function better,” said Keith Moore, Heritage’s director of historic resources and education programs. “We’re prepping for our newest exhibit, currently in research for 2019, which will require some of these changes to have its full effect.”

Part of the work would involve better regulating temperature, humidity and ultraviolet light to protect historic objects, Moore said.

“We’re concerned that without updating these things to current museum standards, we are limited in our ability to partner with outside institutions to host exhibits in the space,” he said.

The renovations are in a planning stage with the hope of beginning work in February, Moore said.

A carving by Moses Robinson as it appeared on display in 2012. (File)

When the renovations are complete, Heritage will once again display pieces from its collection of folk art by Moses Robinson, a woodcarver who lived from 1845 to 1942. Items from the 2,000-piece collection will rotate through regular displays.

Heritage’s latest original exhibit was “L’Chaim Sandy Springs,” about the Jewish community’s participation in the city’s life and culture. That exhibit is touring to various locations through 2021.

Besides the museum work, Heritage also intends to update the house’s garden with plants “that are native to this area and that you would have found in the yard of a 19th-century farm home,” Moore said. That planting will happen sometime this year.

Heritage also has a plan to renovate the historic spring – the city’s namesake – at the center of its adjacent Heritage Green park. That plan was delayed by permitting issues, but work could begin later this year.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.