Government Buildings -- Chatham County Jail, Savannah Ga.
J. S. Oppenheimer Co., Pub. Savannah Ga.
Savannah (Ga.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Architecture -- Georgia -- Savannah.
Public buildings -- Georgia -- Savannah.
Black and white image with white border, undivided back, postally unused of the building that was the Chatham County Jail, but is now Habersham Hall at SCAD. The Old Chatham County Jail was built in 1887, to replace an earlier structure. A competition was held and the McDonald Brothers, Harry P. (1848-1904) and Kenneth (1847-1904), of Louisville, Kentucky, were selected. Kenneth arrived in Savannah in 1886 and hired local project architect, DeWitt Bruyn and contractor, W. F. Bowe. Their design specified a jailer’s residence to be on the southern elevation and the cell block running to parallel Habersham. Prisoners would be separated by gender. Their plan contained 117 cells, 2 small basement level dungeons, a cell for condemned prisoners, an infirmary, and the 93 foot high clock tower. It featured such innovations as an elevator to bring food to the upper floors, speaking tubes, and gas lighting. The structure was built of brick, iron, stone, and stucco and stood four stories. It covered 42,884 square feet. Both the jailer’s residence and the cell block had rusticated granite bases with upper walls of gray Savannah brick, covered with stucco and scored to resemble masonry. A fire destroyed the original tower with its Byzantine style dome in 1898. The rebuilt tower was designed as a Moorish turret, rising 106 feet with four cast iron balconies. The jail was in use until 1978, with a renovation in 1957 by Bergen and Bergen Architects. In 1983, a group of investors considered developing the building into condominiums, but the project failed. The property was donated to SCAD in 1986. For a while, it was thought that the building could be renovated to house the college library, but that plan proved problematic. The area that was the jailer’s residence and the tower have been renovated, but the cell block area remains gutted.
No identifying numbers or marks.
Scholars wishing to cite this item should include item title, Savannah Postcard Collection, MS 016, Jen Library Archives and Special Collections, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and the item's url.
3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches
Black and White Print
MS 016 Savannah Postcard Collection, Jen Library Archives and Special Collections, the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Though this item is believed to be in the Public Domain, copyright may have been retained by the authors or creators of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.