Originally created 10/13/02

Signs of the past

Neglect and the passage of time have taken a toll on many downtown buildings, but the decades have not washed away all traces of the businesses they once housed.

Hulse Laundry Inc. was founded by Frank W. Hulse and his son in 1910. They moved into this building at Ellis and Metcalf streets in the Harrisburg section of town. The company slogan "Just a Good One," was used in advertisements for many years.

The company changed its name to Hulse-Taylor Dry Cleaners in the 1960s, but by the 1970s it was out of business, and the building at 1976 Ellis St. was abandoned. The building, originally built for the Rufus & Carter tobacco company in the 1880s, was gutted by fire in 1984.

Barrett Supply Co., a plumbing equipment wholesaler, was started in 1922 by F.M. Barrett. In 1929 he purchased the building occupying 631-639 Broad St. and this warehouse at the rear of the building.

The company, now under leadership of his son, Matt Barrett, was relocated to Mike Padgett Highway a few years ago, and the buildings were sold to an Augusta investment group that also owns the adjacent First Union building.

The former Barrett buildings were among the few Broad Street structures to survive the Great Fire of 1916. The warehouse, above, is scheduled for demolition to make way for a parking deck expansion at the First Union building.

Davison's Department Store started in Atlanta as Davison-Paxon-Stokes Co. around the turn of the 20th century and became part of the R.H. Macy Co. in 1925. In 1978, the Augusta Davison's store left its location on the 900 block of Broad Street to move into the newly built Augusta Mall. The store adopted the Macy's name in 1985. Federated Department Stores, the owner of Macy's, closed the mall store earlier this year.

The adjacent H.L. Green department store opened in 1949 and closed in 1994. Both buildings are vacant and are being remodeled to house the Richmond County School District offices.

Haverty Furniture Co. closed it's Haverty's store at 719 Broad St. in 1980, but the store's jingle from days gone by can still be seen above the building's rear entrance. The building was purchased by Morris Communications Co., owner of The Augusta Chronicle, in 1981. What used to be the first-floor showroom is now occupied by the newspaper's circulation department.

A sign for the former Genesta Hotel can be seen at Eighth and Ellis streets. The Genesta, at 215 Eighth St., was one of several hotels that lined Eighth Street at the turn of the century.

The street was referred to as Augusta's "White Way" because streetlights illuminated a path for travelers several blocks south to Union Station. The Genesta survived a fire in 1921 and was renamed the Clarendon Hotel in 1932.

This warehouse at 10th and Fenwick streets was one of several operated by People's Ice Co. at the turn of the century. This dilapidated structure still boasts its "Cold Storage" capabilities.

No one knows when this advertisement for Cream of Kentucky bourbon was painted on a downtown wall facing Sixth Street between Broad and Reynolds streets. But it was likely painted not long after 1933, when Schenley Distillers Corp. launched the brand after prohibition was repealed. The producer, now known as The Buffalo Trace Distillery, made the last batch of Cream of Kentucky in 1982.


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