Tag Archives: South Georgia Commercial Architecture

Bon Air Hotel, 1901, Bainbridge

This historic property faces Willis Park and at its core is the footprint of The Sharon House, a hotel built in the 1860s. Significant remodeling and expansion took place in 1901 and it became the Bon Air Hotel. Originally, a full-height porch ran the length of the facade, with balconies on the upper floors, but this feature was removed in the 1950s. As cities built strip malls and activity moved away from historic downtown areas, grand old hotels were seen as too expensive to maintain.The Bon Air wasn’t immune to this fate and closed in the 1960s, falling into serious disrepair. By the 1990s, communities like Bainbridge began to recognize the importance of landmarks to revitalizing their historic identities, and thankfully, the Bon Air was renovated between 1999-2001, with apartments and storefronts. It has retaken its place as the anchor of the commercial historic district.

Bainbridge Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --DECATUR COUNTY GA--, Bainbridge GA

First State National Bank Building, 1885, Bainbridge

This has served as Bainbridge City Hall for many years, and was recently restored. It’s one of the most impressive marble structures in South Georgia.

Bainbridge Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --DECATUR COUNTY GA--, Bainbridge GA

Mid-Century Modern Bank, 1953, Bainbridge

This impressive bank was likely considered an eyesore at one time, but this style has gained appreciation with architectural historians in recent years. If it’s not included in the historic district, it should be.

Bainbridge Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --DECATUR COUNTY GA--, Bainbridge GA

Italian Renaissance Revival Commercial Block, 1900, Bainbridge

This structure, now a law office, is sided with tabby blocks. This building material is quite rare away from the coast.

Bainbridge Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --DECATUR COUNTY GA--, Bainbridge GA

Historic Storefronts, Bainbridge

Bainbridge has a relatively intact commercial core, unlike many small South Georgia towns who have seen significant losses due to neglect and deterioration in recent years. There is presently an active movement to restore buildings which have long been derelict, resulting in a vibrant downtown. It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight, but they’re making great progress.

Corner of Broad and Water Streets

Marble Front Bank (1900), Broad Street

Corner of Broad and Broughton Streets

Corner of Broad and Broughton Streets

Broughton Street

Bainbridge Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

Leave a comment

Filed under --DECATUR COUNTY GA--, Bainbridge GA

Warehouse, Oconee

Leave a comment

Filed under --WASHINGTON COUNTY GA--, Oconee GA

Site of the Original Stuckey’s, 1937, Eastman

This structure, located on the site of Williamson S. Stuckey, Sr.’s (1909-1977) original roadside stand, has the familiar teal blue roof that was a beacon to tourists throughout America from the 1940s until the 1970s. I’m  not sure as to the date of this structure, but it’s probably from the 1940s or 1950s. The Stuckey’s Candy Factory, built in 1948, is located on the property, as well.

In 1937, Mr. Stuckey had a bumper crop of pecans and opened a roadside stand to sell them to the many tourists who passed through town on busy US 23. His wife, Ethel Mullis Stuckey (1909-1991), concocted a rolled pecan confection which quickly became Stuckey’s most iconic treat, the Pecan Log Roll (some love them, some not so much, but their impact on the business can’t be understated). While pecans and pecan-based treats were always the focus, Mr. Stuckey realized that travelers wanted more, and soon added other confections, a restaurant, souvenirs, and gasoline service.

By the late 1960s, there were over 350 Stuckey’s franchises throughout the United States, and their teal blue roofs were as iconic then as McDonald’s golden arches are today. The family sold the business to Pet Milk in 1967, but the focus became more corporate and less personal and changing travel patterns saw the rise of other roadside businesses that were quite competitive. From 1967-1977, Williamson (Billy) Stuckey, Jr., served five terms in the U. S. Congress. In 1985, determined to see his family name return to national prominence, Mr. Stuckey and a group of investors bought back the family business from Pet Milk. Though the familiar Stuckey’s locations of yesterday are no longer in operation, the brand remains strong and store-within-store locations are once again found throughout the eastern United States. In 2019, Stephanie Stuckey took over as CEO with plans of expanding even more, insuring the Stuckey’s name will be known well into the 21st century.

 

4 Comments

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA