Originally created 07/03/05

Properties tell Augusta's story



Pam Costabile is the manager of code enforcement at the Augusta License and Inspection Department's Code Enforcement Division. On June 29, she examined the exterior of the following properties to identify the outward condition of the building and any visible code problems:

The Widow's Home, 124 Greene St.
Construction date: 1884
Owner: Clay Boardman
History: The property is the site of Augusta's first City Hospital, constructed in 1818. The hospital evolved into University Hospital, and the current building, a Second Empire-style structure, was constructed in 1884 as a home for Confederate widows.
Condition: Undergoing preliminary restoration. The building is in good condition despite its age.

Engine Company No. 7, 2163 Central Ave.
Construction date: 1914
Owner: City of Augusta
History: A Spanish mission-style building with a white stucco exterior, the building was occupied by the fire depatment until it moved in 2003.
Condition: Good condition

Old John S. Davidson School, 1102 Telfair St.
Construction date: 1934
Owner: Richmond County Board of Education
History: The school closed its doors in 1997 to make way for construction of the new John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High School. It has been vacant since. A biotech business wanted to purchase the property, but the Board of Education said last year it wasn't interested in selling.
Condition: Broken and open windows allow moisture into the building. Parts of the ceiling and roof have leaks. The exterior walls are cracked in some locations but otherwise the facility is in good condition.

Augusta Train Depot, Fifth and Reynolds streets
Construction date: Near turn of the 20th century
Owner: City of Augusta (general retirement fund)
History: Augusta was the first city in Georgia the railroad came through. The depot's warehouse sits along Reynolds Street on a large parcel of land.
Condition: Some roof repair is needed but otherwise it is in good condition.

The Miller Theater, 708 Broad St.
Construction date: 1939
Owner: Homer H. Boyd
History: According to www.cinematreasures.org, the world premiere of The Three Faces of Eve starring Joanne Woodward, a Georgia native, took place at the Miller in 1957. The two psychiatrists who wrote the book on which the film was based were from Augusta. Mr. Boyd said the property is for sale.
Condition: Exterior is in good condition.

T.W. Josey's Home, 1121 11th St.
Construction date: 1906
Owner: Dorothy Hudson Beard
History: Dr. Josey, a prominent black physician who practiced medicine from 1909-57 in Augusta, lived here during part of his life.
Condition: Occupied; needs some water-damaged wood replaced.

The Rev. Charles T. Walker's Home, 1011 Laney-Walker Blvd.
Construction date: 1906
Owner: Dora Stiles
History: The Rev. Walker, a former slave and a passionate preacher, founded Tabernacle Baptist Church in 1885. He also founded Walker Baptist Institute.
Condition: Occupied; needs some water-damaged wood replaced.

Planning Commission Building, 525 Telfair St.
Construction date: 1869
Owner: City of Augusta
History: This Greek revival-style temple is the state's oldest building originally built as a Jewish synagogue.
Condition: Occupied by the Augusta-Richmond County Planning Commission and in good condition.

Old Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 731 Taylor St.
Construction date: 1843
Owner: Miracle Making Ministries
History: White trustees of St. John Methodist Episcopal Church bought the property for blacks to attend their own services. The black congregation bought the property after the Civil War. In 1998, the congregation relocated after winning a class-action suit against Atlanta Gas Light Co. The lawsuit said coal tar and other chemicals from a plant that closed in the 1950s had seeped into the property, devaluing it. Canal construction has prevented the building's use. Once its owners are allowed back inside, they plan to turn the church into a community center.
Condition: Needs some minor repair work, including the replacement of rotten wood and a new paint job.

Buildings 18, 19 and 20 of the Uptown division of Augusta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, 1 Freedom Way
Construction date: 1912
Owner: Augusta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers
History: The buildings were erected as a Catholic school for women and later became Lenwood Tourist Hotel. During World War I, they were part of Camp Hancock. After World War II, the facility was used as a 150-bed hospital. Today, only building 18 is in use, as a domiciliary for patients. The other two buildings are vacant.
Condition: Buildings 19 (above) and 20 are in need of renovation because of asbestos and lead problems, according to Mark Sargent, VA chief of construction management. Building 18 was renovated in 1977 and is in good condition.

Stovall-Barnes House, 1211 Greene St.
Construction date: Mid- to late 19th century

Owner: Robert Demello Jr.
History: The Stovall family was made up of several prominent members, including Marcellus Stovall, who served as a Confederate general in the Civil War, and Pleasant Stovall, who was a childhood friend of President Woodrow Wilson. He was also editor of The Augusta Chronicle and The Savannah Evening Press. The house was later sold to George Barnes, who served as a U.S. congressman.
Condition: Occupied

John Houghton Elementary School, 333 Greene St.
Construction date: 1916
Owner: Clay Boardman
History: The original school burned in the fire of 1916, and the current building was built the same year. The school closed in 2000.
Condition: A new roof is scheduled to be put on next week, but otherwise the building is structurally sound, with only minor wear and tear, said Edward Rush, the superintendent of Capers & Associates.

Frank G. Yerby House
Construction date: Early 20th century
Owner: Paine College
History: The building was the childhood home of Augusta author Frank Yerby, who wrote poetry and fiction, including The Foxes of Harrow in 1946.
Condition: Moved from 1112 Eighth St. in 2004 to Paine College property at Druid Park Avenue and Laney-Walker Boulevard. The building was recently demolished because the building was in such poor condition. A replica will be built.

Cedar Grove Cemetery, 120 Watkins St.
Construction date: 1820
Owner: Augusta-Richmond County Cedar Grove Cemetery
History: Augusta's first black cemetery, where many prominent black residents, including T.W. Josey and Margaret Louise Laney, a niece of Lucy Craft Laney, are buried.
Condition: In some areas, the grass is slightly overgrown.

Old Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 839 Ninth St.
Construction date: Mid- to late 19th century
Owner: Bethel African Methodist
History: In 1994, the congregation moved to a new building on Crawford Avenue.
Condition: Needs minor repairs, new paint and the replacement of rotten wood.

Old Academy of Richmond County, 540 Telfair St.
Construction date: 1856
Owner: Academy of Richmond County trustees
History: The school occupied the building until 1926, when it moved to its present location on Baker Avenue. In 1863, the building was used as a military hospital and was taken over by federal troops, who returned it in 1868. The building once was the site of Augusta Museum and the Young Men's Library Association.
Condition: In good condition

Sutherland Plant, 510 Cottage St.
Construction date: 1886
Owner: Avondale Mills Inc.
History: Originally the Dartmouth Spinning Co., the building was purchased by the Graniteville Co. and then Avondale Mills Inc. as a textile mill. Today, it is being used for storage.
Condition: The plant has many broken windows, but a fence surrounding the property prevents a more thorough examination.

Former site of First Baptist Church of Augusta, 802 Greene St.
Construction date: 1902
Owner: Southern Baptist Foundation
History: The Southern Baptist Convention was founded at this site in 1845. The first church building was dedicated in 1821, remodeled in 1847 and razed in 1899. The current building was built three years later. The congregation now worships in a new building on Walton Way Extension.
Condition: In need of basic maintenance, including a paint job and repair work on some windows.