Neil Dawson, AIA
Jodie Quinter, Assoc. AIA
Cody Tharpe, PE
Built in 1885 by iron foundry owner William Kehoe, the townhouse at 130 Habersham Street, a contributing structure within the Savannah National Historic Landmark District and the Savannah Local Historic District, has experienced a transformation worthy of attention. Arguably one of the most photographed homes in downtown Savannah, with its infamous vines twining lavishly up the sides of its facades, quite literally bursting life from its structure onto the street, the Kehoe home has become seemingly unrecognizable at first glance through its metamorphosis back to its Italianate roots. It is because of the modern infamy of this historic structure that one might fail to understand decisions made in undertaking a drastic renovation to this iconic downtown home.
However, by acknowledging the greater value of this historic structure, and recognizing that the predominant focus of this home should not be centered on modern public sentiment, the owner was able to come to terms with a genuine restorative plan. Through vine removal, masonry, stucco, railing, and structural repairs, new decking at all balconies, replacement of damaged solid mahogany shutters, a new roof, a complete HVAC overhaul, and an all-encompassing painting to unify architectural elements, the client was able to evaluate the real needs of this building in order for it to be restored to structural integrity while preserving its historic character.