Central of Georgia Freight Depots
Savannah

The Down Freight Warehouse with the Red Building at the far end.

Standing just north of the Central of Georgia passenger depot are two former Central freight buildings, the Up Freight Warehouse and the Down Freight Warehouse.

Completed in 1853, the Up Freight Warehouse is behind and attached to the company's former main office building, a Greek Revival structure built in 1855 and generally called the Gray Building. The Down Freight structure, sometimes called the Produce Freight House, is behind and attached to the so-called Red Building, built in 1887, which also housed company offices.

The Down Freight building was completed in 1859-60, repaired in 1878, and extended in 1898.

These buildings faced demolition before being acquired by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Careful rehabilitation maintained their historical character while adapting them for educational use. The Red Building/Down Freight structure now serves as the school's Eichberg Hall while the Gray Building/Up Freight structure, known for a time as Kiah Hall, is currently in use as the SCAD Museum of Art.

The 1916 drawing above shows the two freight warehouses and the passenger station facing West Broad Street. The Gray Building/Up Freight Warehouse is labeled No. 1; the Red Building/Down Freight Warehouse is No. 2; and the passenger station with its train shed is No. 3. Also shown are the repair shops complex with its roundhouse as well as the 1852 and 1858 railroad bridges across the Savannah & Ogeechee Canal.
(From Photocopy of section of panoramic map of 'Savannah, Georgia 1891' showing Savannah Repair Shops; drawn and published by Augustus Koch, Morning-News Lithograph, Savannah, GA. HAER GA,26-SAV,55-2. Online at http://memory.loc.gov).

Above, the Red Building and the Gray Building.

Two other freight warehouses once stood in the space now occupied by the parking lot between the passenger station and the Red Building. Much smaller than the Up and Down warehouses, these structures handled naval stores and sugar/grain shipments.

Suggested Reading:

Connie Capozzola Pinkerton, Maureen Burke, and others. The Savannah College of Art and Design; Restoration of An Architectural Heritage. Arcadia Publishing, 2004.

Sarah Campbell. New Life for an Old Depot. Preservation (magazine). National Trust for Historic Preservation, Dec. 20, 2011.

 


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