The Georgia Trust


unique island cottages at risk from overzealous developers

The Story: With the completion of Tybee Road in 1923, the golden era of Tybee Island and a radical increase in demand for beach cottages began. The introduction of automobiles onto the island resulted in the uniquely designed Tybee Island Raised Cottages. Built between 1923 and the mid 1950s, the cottages, typically a square frame beach house raised a full story with living quarters on the raised level and servant quarters, changing rooms and automobile stalls below, is only found in Georgia on Tybee Island.

Threat: Immense pressure on historic resources, view sheds and open spaces of Tybee Island from developers buying lots, tearing down or moving historic buildings and constructing duplexes, condominiums or larger beach houses are a particular danger to the Tybee Island Raised Cottages. The most prevalent historic resource on Tybee, these cottages sit on relatively large lots, heightening their attraction to speculators.

Solution: Tybee Island passed a local preservation ordinance and drafted design guidelines in 2000, but because of negative public reaction, local historic districts have not been established. In order to protect the Tybee Island Raised Cottages and other historic island resources, historic districts and design guidelines need to be enacted. Although several of these cottages have been listed in the Register, without local protection these unique homes could be permanently lost.






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