Wednesday, May 26, 2010

William Scarbrough House Recognized in New Historical Marker

The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) and the Ships of the Sea Museum unveiled a new historical marker to recognize the William Scarbrough House on May 22.

William Scarbrough House architect William Jay first came to America at the age of 25 in 1817 after apprenticing in London during the classical style resurgence.  Bringing the tenants of neoclassicism with him to Savannah, Jay designed several houses, schools, banks and theatres during his brief stay in the city.  The Scarbrough House was designed for prominent shipping merchant William Scarbrough, and was locally known as “the Castle.” After periods of vacancy and use as a school, the building underwent a significant restoration in the 1990s after being acquired by the Ships of the Sea Museum.  Now commemorating maritime history, the William Scarbrough House still stands as one Savannah’s most elegant structures and one of the first examples of neoclassicism found anywhere in the South.  The marker text reads:

William Scarbrough House

Designed by noted English architect William Jay, this house was built for William Scarbrough, president of the Savannah Steamship Company.  Completed in 1819, it is an excellent example of the neoclassical style.  Scarbrough hosted President James Monroe here in May 1819 during the president’s visit to witness the launching of the S.S. Savannah on the world’s first trans-Atlantic steamship voyage.  For 84 years (1878-1962), the house served as the West Broad Street School for African-American children and later as the headquarters for the Historic Savannah Foundation from 1976-1991.  In 1996 the house was acquired by the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

Historical markers, which recognize people, places and events, tell the story of Georgia's past in a format that is accessible to residents and visitors alike and are an effective tool for economic development, encouraging local tourism and general state-wide interest.  GHS has administered Georgia's historical marker program since 1998, erecting over 150 markers statewide.

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