Preservation Magazine, Spring 2017

This Bar's Unusual Architecture Preserves Part Of Georgia's History

The standalone bar Artillery opened next to an armory in Savannah Georgia

photo by: Jeremiah Hull

The terra cotta facade was left completely untouched.

One of Savannah, Georgia’s newest standalone bars, Artillery, opened in the city’s downtown historic district this past fall. The Georgia Hussars built the one-story structure and its embellished front entrance in 1897 as a retail space to fund their adjacent armory, which inspired the bar’s name 120 years later.

“People are drawn to the building because it’s so unusual. There really are no other facades with that style in town,” explains Robby Perkins, creative director for Daniel Reed Hospitality, which owns Artillery.

Made exclusively from terra cotta, the facade’s columns, trefoils, swags, and ogee arches round out an eclectic fusion of Moorish, Gothic, and Classical influences. Though the lavish style may seem an incongruous choice for a volunteer cavalry, it is original to the building. Some local historians believe the facade may have been ordered from a catalog (a common practice at the time of construction). The terra cotta has fared remarkably well; it didn’t even need a touchup during the recent renovation.

Other architectural elements required more attention. The original oak front doors had deteriorated beyond repair, though some of their ornamentation could be salvaged and was added to the replacement doors. One curved, plate-glass exterior window, which had cracked in some places, was meticulously replicated.

Meghan White Headshot

Meghan White is a historic preservationist and a former assistant editor for Preservation magazine. She has a penchant for historic stables, absorbing stories of the past, and one day rehabilitating a Charleston single house.

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