Franck & Lohsen Architects

Savannah Townhouse

Savannah, Georgia

Originally built in 1853 as one of 4 attached townhouses, this historic property fell victim to an unfortunate renovation which removed much of the soul of the house. Most of the original character was removed resulting in an expected and bland interior and virtually nothing done to the exterior garden except for the addition of a pressure treated deck.

Upon purchasing the property in 2012, the new owner began working with Franck & Lohsen on an extensive restoration of the interior in which period detailing was added including a new Greek revival column screen and two new Greek revival mantle-pieces. These new architectural elements recall the historic character of the original house through the use of Greek revival detailing commensurate with the 1850s period. While the long gone original detailing was more simple, the Owner and Architect worked to create an interior that was more refined that would have been originally built, however the detailing is of a scale and level of craftsmanship that honors the original house yet elevates this new townhouse to be an appropriate pied-a-terre for a client who enjoys traveling and collecting.

The interior is tastefully and appropriately decorated with antique light fixtures, historic colors, modestly scaled furniture with updated fabrics all amongst the owners’ private collection of Grand Tour Decorative pieces.

The rear garden is a private oasis. Multicolored drapes framing an intimate outdoor dining area draw together all the colors of the garden including whites from the paint, beige from the palm trees, dark greys from the brick wall and green from the many layers of plantings. Custom oyster pavers bring detail and additional light into the intimate courtyard. An existing historic brick wall features a baroque zinc mirror above an antiqued demi-lune table. A bright white vintage gryphon placed in front of a new darkly painted fence commands over the garden. An espalier of jasmine in a diamond pattern fills this intimate courtyard with a soaring height of green leaves and a fragrant aroma. Low tight boxwoods frame the oyster paver courtyard and provide the foreground for lush plantings of autumn ferns, Chinese fan palms, split leaf philodendra and a pair of queen palms.

Richard Johnson