SAVANNAH, Ga. — Ben Carter Enterprises is spending $100 million to restore three-dozen historic buildings on Savannah’s Broughton Street.
Many of the buildings’ facades were defaced with concrete or stucco in misguided remodeling efforts that covered the original historic exteriors, some of which date back to the 1860s.
To undertake this ambitious facelift, Ben Carter has teamed with Savannah-based Hansen Architects, which has won numerous awards for its historic preservation work.
“Our combined efforts will transform these neglected storefronts on Broughton Street into the rich, beautiful, historic structures they once were,” said Ben Carter, founder of Ben Carter Enterprises. “In the process, our restoration will generate several millions of dollars in revenue, create hundreds of new jobs, and attract new tourists to Savannah.”
When completed, the overall project will include 30 new local, regional and international retailers, eight buildings to house restaurants, and potentially 40 loft apartments. Carter also is in talks with three boutique hotels.
Highlights of the façade restoration include removing unattractive concrete and stucco that covers some of the storefronts. At both 32 and 118 East Broughton Street, both built in the late 1800s, crews will remove concrete panels that will reveal historic brickwork and, on the upper floor, window openings. The historic features on both buildings have been hidden from view for the past 50 years.
At 110 West Broughton Street, which was built in 1860 and once occupied by Century Furniture Company, stucco paneling will be removed to reveal the historic masonry brick structure and windows on the upper levels.
“It is a great opportunity for Hansen Architects to be involved in restoring numerous buildings on Broughton Street,” said Hansen’s Patrick Phelps. “It also is a great opportunity for Savannah because these restorations are correcting the mistakes of the past and revealing Broughton Street’s original, historic fabric.”