Tag Archives: South Georgia Restorations

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

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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

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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

 

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

Old City Hall & Firehouse, 1914, Bainbridge

This Spanish Colonial Revival landmark was designed by William Augustus Edwards as a combination City Hall and Firehouse, and over the years has also served as the library and public safety center. It is now known as the Firehouse Center & Gallery and is home to the Decatur County Council for the Arts, featuring gallery and event space.

Bainbridge Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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

Thomas-Gutierrez House, 1899, Bainbridge

This home was built by John S. Thomas.

Bainbridge Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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

Restoration of the Hotel Willard, Helena

Nearly three years ago, I reported that I had learned that this landmark, the most important surviving commercial structure in all of Telfair County, was being threatened with demolition. Soon thereafter, I learned that a local gentleman had stepped up and taken on its restoration. I’m glad to report that he has made a lot of progress, stripping paint off the brick and replacing windows. He has also done work on the interior, but it’s a slow process. I know there’s a long way to go, but how wonderful that someone chose to save this wonderful old hotel.

 

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Filed under --TELFAIR COUNTY GA--, Helena GA

Roscoe Peoples Sinclair Station, 1935, Oak Park

Roscoe Peoples built this Sinclair Gas station in 1935, in the Mediterranean Revival style often associated with the roadside architecture of the time. In recent years it was home to John Lindsey’s service station and the Snake Hunters Club. John Lindsey was a well-known snake collector who milked venomous species for the manufacture of antivenom. The structure has been restored and now serves as the Oak Park City Hall.

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Filed under --EMANUEL COUNTY GA--, Oak Park GA