Thursday, September 30, 2004

Greene St.

Greene St. is parallel to Broad St., just a bit south, and a street or two north of Telfair St. It's a pretty busy thoroughfare and there's plenty of lawyer's offices and businesses to the west. However, as you go east, business slacks off, although there are nice homes along most of Greene St.

By the time you get to the end of Greene St., where it "T's" into East Boundary Rd., there's not much going on. Random historical fact: The de Laigle House, on the western side of Greene St., is where the final person to be killed in a duel in GA died. Charles Tilly died a day after defending the honor of the young Mary de Laigle at Sand Bar Ferry, right off the river on the SC border. Apparently Sand Bar Ferry was a major duelling ground, but this one, just before Christmas in 1875, was the last. Charles Tilly is said to haunt the house, which looks like the Addam's Family home.

I always wanted to make it into this old night club, but the concrete was a bit of an impediment. Once, while staying in the cheapest motel in Savannah (The Thunderbird, right across from the Greyhound Station, natch), I got into a conversation with the desk clerk, who had briefly lived in Augusta during the 1950's. He told me about seeing Dinah Washington perform at a club and then dancing with her, as she came out front to mingle with the patrons. That dance had really made his night. I've never figured out exactly where the club was, but it seems it might have been near where the post office is now, somewhere off of 8th or 9th St.

Back on the east end of Greene St. is this Widow's Home. It's empty, but the inside was refurbished at some point with plush carpets and new paint. I don't know if anyone will ever use it again, but it's not really worth exploring. The outside looks good though. Just the ambience for widow's, I guess.

The Sacred Heart Cathedral, right where Greene St. exits onto the John Calhoun Parkway, opened in 1900 and held its last mass in 1971. After that it quickly fell into disrepair. Luckily, it was restored and is now a cultural center. So, no, it's not abandoned, but for a small donation you can wander around in the middle of the day and pretend it is. There are some great historical photos of Augusta during floods where you can see water rising along the bottom of the church. The cathedral is the only recognizable feature still around from those old photos.

At the corner of Greene St. and 5th is this old laundromat with apartments above it. It's worth taking a closer look at this old building. So, we'll do just that next time.

Also, I realize this blog is getting pretty picture-heavy, which might make it load slow. I've reduced the number of posts on the main page to 5 and might go to 3. You can always go to the archives to see the old posts.


Anonymous said...

My dad was the one to design & renovate Sacred Heart after its decay back in the late 80s (with the Upton Company, long since defunct). He said when he first walked through it, the areas upstairs that had broken windows and long time exposure to nesting birds were ankle deep in bird-shit.

~k/c~ said...

I live on Greene Street as a kid in the early 90's but it was my granny's house for ages before that. Not too long ago, I took pictures while back thru that way- you can see them here:
There is a small path that runs behind the houses on Greene that face the hwy. As recent ago as the 80's when I was a young girl, you could stroll through there and see Llama and Goats that people had as pets.

jmhouse said...

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for the comment and pictures. I'd never seen Greene Street from the back--I didn't even know there WAS a back. Any path that took you past llamas and goats would've been cool. Is that old rooming house under the freeway still there? I think it was on 5th and Greene and for a very short time a few years ago yuo could get inside. But it didn't look long for the world.

Best Regards,


~k/c~ said...

Hi John,
I am not aware of that boarding house- it may have been before my time.
Most places in your photos were before me too, but my mom remembered them and it was a nice talk down memory lane, so thanks for the conversation starter!

My end of Greene was separated from the other end by Calhoun Exp. it was mostly houses, a church, a soup kitchen ... been many years since I lived back "home" but even then it was pretty much a disappearing place.
Our former house became the backdrop for a shooting homicide a few years back and as badly as I wanted to go in and take pictures of those little shanty rooms, it may have been a dangerous endeavour.

It is always nice to have something in common with other folks in this big world. Who'dve ever figured on Greene St. being one of those things?
Take Care.

Anonymous said...

I used to visit my three aunts home at 1232 Greene Street in the 50's. They lived in a three story house. Each one had a floor. The bottom floor also had a beauty parlor in what must have been the parlor room at one time. Next door was the steamfitter's union hall. I remember a kid on a bike delivering hamburgers wrapped in wax paper with cokes and fries. If anyone has any pix of Greene Street in that era or any information on the Jenkins sisters please post them.

jmhouse said...

Thanks for your comment. I can't picture 1232 Greene St., although I must've passed it many, many times. Is the house still standing?

And, yes, if anyone has additional information please leave a comment. It'd be very much appreciated.

Unknown said...

In regards to the Widow's Home, it has been donated to a local, new non-profit health clinic. The name is Christ Community Health Services and they're currently located on Dantignac street. They plan on renovating and expanding into the Widow's Home in the coming years.

Great blog by the way! Keep 'em coming...

jmhouse said...

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for the comment. That's great news that the Widow's Home is going to be renovated and another medical facility will operate on the same piece of land where Augusta's medical history began. The second link you provided was especially enlightening. If anyone is interested, you can donate to the cause through that second link and help keep the project on-schedule. It's an important undertaking and a lot of people in real need of medical care will benefit in the future.

Thanks again!