St. Vincent's Annual Historic Tour of Homes & Tea
2012 Tour Sites
(1842) The original part of this 8,800 square foot house was built in 1842 for Eliza Ann Jewett. A strong-willed widow, Mrs. Jewett overcame social prohibitions to become a successful real-estate developer — a rarity for her time. This Federal Style home has five stories. There are five bedrooms, six baths and two powder rooms. There is an abundance of Savannah gray brick and beautiful Heart of Pine floors throughout. The marble fireplaces in the parlor and dining room are original to the home.
The carriage house is now a two-car garage with a full office upstairs. A balcony off the second floor of the carriage house overlooks the courtyard of the main house.
In 1991 there was a major renovation which included a four-story addition. The house has been decorated by its present owner in a traditional fashion, with pockets of eclectic spaces designed for comfort.
(1845) St. Vincent’s Convent was designed by the noted architect Charles Cluskey and built in 1845 on land that was once farmland. Tour participants will see the Convent’s private chapel, parlor, grotto area and halls which feature beautiful stained glass, sacred statuary and paintings.
To guide tourists along the way, there will be several “nuns” (Academy students) wearing the three major traditional habits of the Sisters of Mercy spanning the years from the 1840s through the 1970s.
The collection of memorabilia displayed in Heritage Hall documents Savannah’s history against the backdrop of an all-girls education at the world’s oldest Mercy high school in continuous existence. Displays include needlework by pre-Civil War era students, 19th century scholastic awards and photography spanning the entire 20th century.
The Convent proves to be a fascinating place whether you’re an architectural history buff or a curious alumna who has always wanted to venture beyond the closed doors of the Convent.
(1867) This impressive corner home was built in 1867 for T. A. Augustus Barie, a prominent Savannah developer. Barie was the son of the French Consul, who is buried behind the home in Colonial Cemetery. The Blanton family resided in the home for many years until the mid 1900s, when it was bought by Joseph Fogarty, a maritime insurance agent living in Florida. A native Savannahian, Mr. Fogarty had long-standing connections with St. Vincent’s Academy and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and intended to retire to the home so close to both institutions. His sister, Moir, was a 1945 graduate of St. Vincent’s and one of the basketball coaches at St. Vincent’s, Bridget Fogarty, was a cousin. In Bridget’s honor, he donated a team bus to the school. The bus fondly became known by the students as “The Bridgie Bus”. Unfortunately, Mr. Fogarty’s plans for retirement to the neighborhood did not materialize and the home changed hands two more times to the present owners, who purchased it in 1997. The style of this lovely 4,859 square foot house is Gothic Revival with beautiful Heart of Pine floors. Graceful columns separate the living room and dining rooms on the parlor floor. The owners have decorated this distinguished home with traditional antiques and rugs that it so richly deserves.
(1874) East Park Avenue Lane was once called East New Houston Lane. From Bull Street to Price Street, this lane was dotted by a series of small houses, such as this. ‘The Rose Cottage’ is the only original dwelling from East New Houston Lane which survives today.
Rose Cottage was erected in 1874 by Doctor Louis A. Falligant, a prominent Irish physician responsible for building many houses. It was made using masonry and Cypress wood. Local lore tells that the workman built these small houses for themselves to live in while they built the Victorian District.
This cottage is a “shotgun style”, and is a 1 1/2 floor structure. It is a double pen, which means there were only two original rooms, each approximately 12’ x 20’ which shared one open fireplace. There were two cooking porches attached to the house, and the bathroom was away from the house. Sometime within the last fifty years, a galley kitchen and a bathroom were built into the eastern side of the house, within one of the two original rooms.
The first floor has a living room, which has its original pine floors, followed by a dining room, then a sitting room, with a door to the exterior porch, decks, and garden courtyard. Stairs lead from the sitting room, to another sitting room, two bedrooms, a trunk room, and a half bath. Most upstairs rooms have dormers. It is interesting to note that of the 14 owners of this cottage, 11 have been women. It is known that artists and writers have occupied this cottage. The present owner is widely traveled; the home is decorated with art and artifacts from all over the world, including rugs from China and Morocco and copper from Cairo.
(1892) This Victorian home was built in 1892 for John Mannion. This house and the adjoining house, 214 West Waldburg, were originally freestanding homes located in the 400 block of West Gwinnett.
These houses were rescued from the wrecking ball and moved to their current location in 1998. At that time, 216 West Waldburg still remained divided into two residences, one upstairs and one downstairs with a divided entrance and separate front porches. The relocation and subsequent major renovation in 1999 joined 214 and 216, reverting the 216 home to one residence. All is documented in a photo album that will be on display in the home. Also on display during the tour will be the 1979 edition of Historic Savannah, providing pictures of the original homes on their Gwinnett locations.
216 West Waldburg is a 2,800 square foot home with features such as heart pine floors, original pocket doors, staircase, and baseboard moldings. This two-story house retains its six fireplaces, two claw-footed tubs, and most of the original doors, hinges, and windows within its four bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. The first floor formal rooms feature original mid-18th century antiques inherited by the current owners. The screened porch off the family room leads onto the fenced back yard/garden. In October 2011, the gourmet kitchen renovation was completed, and the entire house was newly painted.
(1894) The original 310 Liberty was built as half of a duplex in 1840 by A.S. Hartridge. It was purchased in 1885 by Bernard Goode. A native Dubliner, Mr. Goode established a contracting firm on Congress Street. This firm did the ornamental and fancy plaster work of the period on many houses and public buildings, including the United States Custom House.
An earthquake in 1885 damaged many buildings on Liberty. The residents camped out on the grassy medium while homes were repaired. In the late 1800s the city assessed residents to pay for the paving of Liberty Street. The homeowners protested and the city started foreclosing on houses. The Goodes occupied the original house until about 1890 when they decided to built a “modern” Victorian home. In 1894 Bernard Goode leveled the original house down to its foundation, retaining the stringers and two chimneys, and built the house which stands today. After paying years of “land rent” the land was deeded to Goode in 1904. 310 East Liberty is reputedly haunted by Bernard’s ghost. He is sometimes heard walking upstairs in the house with his cane.
After the deaths of direct descendents Catherine and Mary Bernard Goette, the house sold, but eventually was lost by the owner. Just a few years ago, it was purchased on the courthouse steps. The 3400 square foot home has three bedrooms and three baths. The current owner created the handsome landscape designs in the front and rear, as well as the stone terraces.
(1911) The Walker Mansion is an elegant 1911 stucco over concrete block, Italian renaissance home overlooking Forsyth Park. It was built for Captain George Walker, cofounder of Strachan Shipping Company, and president of the Savannah Cotton Exchange. The home was later purchased from his widow by A. E. Clift, president of the Central of Georgia Railway. Since that time, the house has been used as a nursing home, halfway house and an event space. Recent restoration was completed in 2011 by Carroll Construction Company. The home has many wonderful interior details including mahogany trim, a stunning three-tier staircase, original built-in cabinetry and eight-foot-high mahogany wainscoting in the ballroom. Large wraparound porches surround both the first and second stories and add a special grace to the home. An elevator in the home, restored in 2010, is believed to be associated with Levy Jewelers on Broughton Street and is, according to Otis Elevator Company, the oldest elevator in Savannah. In the rear, a small courtyard paved with travertine pavers leads to a garage and a carriage house.
(1959) The lot (Lot 69, Brown Ward) was deeded to Bishop Gartland, the first Catholic Bishop of Savannah, in 1853-54. A school building was erected on this site. It opened in 1860 as the Cathedral School, later known as Abercorn Street School. Several prominent priests and Catholic lay people were educated at the school, but the original building was razed in 1957. No features of the original building remain. However, some of the Savannah gray brick and timber were able to be retained.
The current building was erected in1959 and was designed by Thomas and Hutton Associates. Initially it was built to house the offices of the Catholic Diocese including the Bishop’s Office, Chancellor’s Office, Tribunal, Parochial School Superintendent, etc. Bishop McDonough, Bishop Frey and Bishop Lessard were all associated with this building as the Catholic Chancery. It is a substantial 6,151 square foot, two-story brick building that resembles Georgian Style architecture. The building occupies the block between Perry and McDonough Streets. Significant renovations took place recently as the house was prepared to serve as a home for the new Bishop, The Most Rev. Gregory Hartmayer OFM, Conv.
The home is traditionally decorated. The first floor features a foyer, kitchen, conference room, chapel, a dining/living room combination and a formal parlor. The second floor houses the private living quarters and guest suite.
(2003) This three-story home was designed by architect Patrick Shay and built in 2003 by J.T. Turner Construction. The original construction was one of the first new projects in this formally SOG (South-of-Gaston) area, which is now considered NOG (North-of-Gwinnett). The six homes in this project were first known as "The Beck Townhomes" and sit atop the site of Jane Fishman's first Savannah Urban Garden. 517 Tattnall is energy efficient and has abundant natural light due to the east/west orientation, as opposed to the north/south orientation of most homes on tithing lots in old Savannah.
In 2008, a significant renovation was completed when the arbor was added to the garage roof deck. The entire roof was reinforced to engineering specifications to safely support large gatherings. The original small deck was enlarged, covered and transformed into a screened porch. The rooftop affords views of the Talmadge Bridge, the Saint Phillips AME church spire and several Sugar Hackberry trees.
In 2009, a 62-inch aquatic fish tank/pond/water feature was designed and built for the roof deck. Several fat and happy goldfish reside there along with a collection of Equisetum (horsetail) plants, and a pair of spouting herons. This aquatic combination is in memory of a garden of Savannah's past, which belonged to one of Savannah's favorite gardening sons, Porter Carswell. In the spring of 2012, gardener and artisan Lisa Watson of "Plan It Green Design" installed a roof mural interpretation of a Mondrian design.
The owner is descended from Englishman A.R. Mowbray and original water colors by Mowbray and other family members of that era hang in the dining room circa 1850-1900.
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