Kennedy Pharmacy

Overview

Location:
323 E. Broughton Street – directly behind the Davenport House Museum which is located at 324 E. State Street

Vision:
Tell the preservation story of Savannah and promote the Davenport House Museum and Historic Savannah Foundation

Owner:
Davenport House Endowment Fund Directors

Built:
1890 for Robert Kennedy, harbor master

Purchased:
1999; Stabilized: Summer 2002; Rehabilitated: December 2007— August 2009, New construction (patio and storage shed) January 2010

Original Use:
Commercial: pharmacy on 1st; residential apartment on 2nd

Current Short Term Use:
1st floor rentals (meetings, exhibits and small social functions), 2nd floor apartment rental/residence

Total area:
2300sf: 1100 1st floor, 1200 2nd floor

Recent History:
In 1999, an anonymous patron purchased the Kennedy Building–an 1890 pharmacy building situated directly across the lane from the Isaiah Davenport House—a property owned by Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF). The purchase was made to use the building to benefit the Davenport House Museum in some way. As years passed, ideas about how best to utilize the building came and went. An early thought was to move the museum’s shop and offices out of the 1820′s museum house and into the pharmacy—freeing up the ground level area to be re-interpreted to reflect those who lived and worked in that space in the 19th century. However, this interpretive goal was balanced with a need for the property to be financially viable (income-generating).

In late 2007, HSF forged a partnership between Savannah College of Art and Design’s Historic Preservation Department (SCAD) and the Davenport House Endowment Directors (owners of the building). It was decided that the building would be rehabilitated to accommodate flexible uses on the ground floor (meetings, workshops, exhibits, social gatherings) and residential rental space upstairs. To effect this plan, a $50k grant was pursued and received from the 1772 Foundation in Connecticut.

Jim Abraham, SCAD Historic Preservation professor, led the preservation work that provided 900-square feet of open space on the first floor and a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor. These uses achieve the two mutual goals of generating income for the museum while HSF develops a formal plan for the educational use of the property.

Read more about the rehabilitation of the Kennedy Pharmacy


Description

Exterior:
Two story; red brick on low foundation; overhanging eaves and a low hip metal roof. Main entrance on East Broughton/north elevation – chamfered posts connected by panels with inset diagonally-placed beaded board, carved brackets, and a molded wood cornice. An ornate cast-iron balcony extended across the façade at the second floor level. Tall double-hung windows. Long plate glass window in the north and east storefronts were topped by glass transoms and were detailed at the street level by brass rails set on ornate metal brackets. Boxed gutters surround the roof on three sides, and feed into a metal downspout. Operable wood shutters were supported by cast iron hinges.

Interior:
First floor: V-groove wood board ceiling that runs north-south; wooden floor, central area of the main commercial space flooring was marble tile; walls – plaster.

Second floor: North-South hall; 4 rooms and 1 1/2 bathrooms; wood floor; plaster walls and ceilings. Completely renovated in 2009—Architectural features include heart pine floors of tongue and groove construction, ornate mantles, and high ceilings with transoms; all new appliances including a washer/ dryer and central heat and air

Surber Barber Choate & Hertlein Architects, Atlanta, GA. 2002.

The small, freestanding building is positioned at the corner of East Broughton Street and Habersham Street as a unique survivor of a once-common commercial type. The commercial building has maintained one of the last wood storefronts in downtown Savannah, boasting the original chamfered columns, brackets, doors, and transoms. The substantially unaltered residential spaces on the second floor, together with the wealth of original materials that survive behind modern additions on the first floor, reinforce the building as an essential element in the evolution of Savannah’s historic neighborhoods.