Architectural Tour

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Mother Enterprise Monument. Originally a water fountain, this monument in the first Plaza Park in the City is dedicated to Mother Enterprise, Nettie C. Hall, an eyewitness to Fitzgerald's founding. Editor of The Enterprise, one of Fitzgerald's first newspapers, Hall was cast in the mold of the nationally famous Nelly Bly. She made her way everywhere into the man's world of city-building. When the A&B railroad shops were built, Hall was there to inspect the operation from top to bottom, climbing up on the machinery for a better view, and describing the experience in terms that marked her as a true lover of the Iron Horse. In three short years, she became a living legend, and her voice was the voice of the Colony City itself, fiercely proud and self-reliant!

Grand Theater _ 115 South Main Street. This art deco-style building originally constructed in the 1920's, burned and was rebuilt in 1933. It still retains many of the characteristics of its original style: glass brick facade on the second floor and a majestic neon sign. The interior features Tiffany style overhead lamps and side lanterns. The stage has been greatly enlarged and the backstage areas meet the most stringent requirements of major touring productions, which are brought often to Fitzgerald by the local arts Council. The GRAND is also home to numerous local productions, including Fitzgerald's historical Musical production about its founding, "Our Friends, the Enemy."

Ware-Mashburn House - 315 South Main Street. Ca. 1906. This two-story Georgian plan house - presently offices of Mills - Chasteen Attorneys - is distinctive for many features, among them the beautiful stained glass panels, hipped tin roof and shed porch supported by Doric columns. Many homes and buildings in Fitzgerald featured stained glass. Look for it in the gable ends, dormers, windows, and other areas in homes and businesses. This house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Bowen-Sheppard House - 327 South Main Street, Ca. 1900. This two story Georgian home was built by the same family that built the Ware-Mashburn house next door in the early 1900's.

W.R.C. Building - 215 South Main Street. This wooden frame building was constructed in 1900 by Union veterans and their sons and was used by the veteran's wives as the relief hall and a place for social gatherings. The Women's Relief Corp was an auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. The GAR post at Fitzgerald was the largest in the South. The decorative gable decoration features the WRC emblem.

Broadhurst-Paulk House - 409 South Main Street. Ca 1920. One of Fitzgerald's most elegant homes, this two story neoclassical Georgian plan house features a monumental shed porch supported by elegant Ionic columns. Of particular interest are the transom and sidelights of the first and second floor entrances and the palladian window in the gabled dormer.

Maffet-Ritter House - 507 South Main Street. Ca 1900. This unusual Georgian plan house was one of the original homes on South Main Street. It was moved on logs from an adjacent lot to its present location about 1905. The home features an unusual hipped dormer with diamond-paned casement windows.

McClendon-Walker House - 801 South Main Street. Ca 1900. This two-story frame home is typical of early Fitzgerald architecture with its ornate trim, interesting windows with square lights, and the bay front and hipped roof. It has undergone extensive renovation in the past few years.

Harris House - 605 South Lee Street. Ca 1905. This Queen Anne style house was originally built for the Dr. Russell family. It was converted in the 1980's to a personal care home. It is typical of Queen Anne style with its tower and turrets and its wraparound porch. This house is also noble for its rich use and variety of exterior siding materials an interesting textures.
Faith Baptist Church-326 South Lee Street. Ca 1906. This distinctive church building, used by the Christian Church for more than 80 years, is now the home of Faith Baptist Church. The building demonstrates extensive use of granitoid and beautiful stained glass windows. Granitoid, seen rarely in South Georgia, is actually rock-faced hollow concrete block, a type of material produced here in the founding years, beginning in 1905, by the Fitzgerald Granitoid Company. Many homes throughout the City are partially or entirely constructed of granitoid.

Fitzgerald Hebrew Congregation-302 South Lee Street. Ca 1906. Originally used by the Methodist Episcopal Church, this sanctuary was converted to a Hebrew synagogue when the northern and southern branches of the Methodist Church united in 1939. Interesting not only historically, but because it is one of very few synagogues in South Georgia serving several other communities, in addition to Fitzgerald.

Phillip Jay House-225 South Lee Street. Ca 1905. One of the most unusual houses in the City, this home is also constructed of granitoid. This house is distinctive for the use of only three masonry Doric columns, rather than the more common four, supporting its gabled overhang. Legend has it that this house was originally constructed by a Scottish family who refused to add the traditional fourth column because the fourth was a superfluous expense. The ivy that surrounds the house is said to have come straight from the home of Scottish poet-singer, Robert Burns.
Herald-Leader Building-202 East Central. Built in 1897, the second floor of this building originally housed the Windsor Hotel. The lower floor was a wholesale grocery, and later the Fitzgerald Hardware Company. It was converted into the offices of the Fitzgerald Herald Leader in 1992. Distinctions include decorative metal cornices, brackets and finials along its upper floor. The building's renovators received the coveted award for excellent restoration from the Georgia Trust for Historic preservation. The Herald Leader is the only paper published in Fitzgerald today, but in its founding years, Fitzgerald published seven newspapers, two of which were published by the small Black population. The town also boasted a book printing shop. (Fitzgerald claims today that there are more newspapers sold here per capita than anywhere else in the South!)

Standard Supply Company-406 E. Central. Ca 1897. One of the city's earliest buildings, Standard Supply Company, owned and operated by the Parrot family, is the oldest continuously family-owned and operated business in Fitzgerald. The front facade has been altered somewhat, but original elements like the brick parapet and the archway surrounding the entry have been retained and reflect the building's early Spanish Mission style.

Fire Station-302 E. Central. Constructed in 1902, this building's original use was a City Hall and it included a three-story clock tower at the western corner. You may see a rare 1900's fire engine parked in front of the building. The City also owns three other antique engines from the 1920's and 30's. Plans are now underway to restore the building, including the clock tower, to house city administrative offices, and then to create a museum in another site to house these and other historic fire engines and equipment.

Central United Methodist Church. Ca 1920. An excellent example of a popular design using elements of the Colonial Georgian period in American architecture. Note the quince at the corners and the key-stoned windows with many rectangular lights. This church represents the true meaning of "The City Where America Reunited." The building housed the Methodist Episcopal Church until 1939 when the northern and southern branches of the Methodist Church consolidated and both came together to use this house of worship in harmony from that day forward.

Depot and Blue and Gray Museum. Built around 1902 when the Atlanta and Birmingham Railroad came to town, unique features include the terra cotta tile roof, shed type eaves and Mission Style parapets. The passenger areas and various offices now house City Hall. Stories abound that when the city was being built and the rails were laid, Southerners came by train to "gawk" at the Yankees! The Blue and Gray museum is located in the original baggage room of the depot. The museum houses many artifacts and memorabilia important in the City's founding, as well as numerous Civil War relics.
Dorminy-Massee House/Bed and Breakfast-516 West Central. Captain Jack Dorminy constructed this elegant Greek Revival Georgian house in 1915 for his wife and four daughters. Captain Jack, a prominent banker, businessman, and farmer whose family had lived in the area since pre-Civil War times, personally selected the trees from which came all the beautiful heart pine lumber throughout the house. The house was considered the grandest in the city and has been continuously in the family. Today the son and grandson of one of the four daughters for whom it was named operate it.

Glover House-412 West Central Avenue. Constructed in 1900. The walls of this intriguing Georgian plan house are constructed of granitoid. Especially interesting is the decorative use of shingles and wrap-around porch with its imposing Victorian turret. (The Fitzgerald Granitoid Company also produced the vitrified brick used on the streets in the downtown historic district.)
This is a perfect example of Fitzgerald's' unusual "T-Houses." The influence of Fitzgerald's "Yankee" origins is present in the prevalence of these houses - so called a "T-House" because the juxtaposition of the porch and the central portion of the house form the shape of a "T." RARELY SEEN IN THE SOUTH, this house type came to Fitzgerald through the large numbers of mid-Westerners who settled here in the late 19th and early 20th century. The City's founder, P.H. Fitzgerald, was from Indiana where the T-shaped house was common. Southerners enlarged the plan and gave it a front porch and more definitive T shape. These houses are found throughout the city - some very simple, others embellished with Victorian gingerbread, elaborate columns, and other Southern-style ornamentation.

Please visit our inviting downtown district. Stroll along the original brick streets of main and Pine and stop in some of the shops to enjoy original pressed tin ceilings and other historical features. Of particular interest are the five story buildings (Garbutt-Donovan Building), corner of Pine and Grant, and Jay, Sherrell, Smith & Brady Law Offices, corner of Pine and Main Streets. Dock's credit jewelry, also on East Pine, is the oldest business in downtown Fitzgerald still operating in its original location, with at least one of its original owners still working there.