Preservation Success: Bon Air Hotel

The Georgia Trust works with many different types of resources. The c. 1902 Bon Air Hotel in Bainbridge, Georgia occupies a prominent spot facing Willis Park, the heart of downtown Bainbridge. It became the center of the town’s social and commercial activity after it was constructed, but by the 1960s it was closed and eventually fell into decline.

In 1999, the Georgia Trust took the property into its Revolving Fund and was able to identify a developer with the foresight to leverage historic preservation tax credits, breathing new life into the Bon Air Hotel. In 2001, the fruits of this collaboration bore witness to a high-quality rehabilitation effort that would not only honor the building’s storied past but also pave the way for a vibrant future. The ground floor, once dormant, now bustles with retail activity, while the upper levels found fresh purpose as charming apartments.

As an anchor on Willis Park and in Bainbridge’s downtown, the Bon Air Hotel’s revitalization speaks to the importance of preservation and reactivating spaces like these. Just about every building surrounding Willis Park has been rehabilitated and is in use today. Approaching nearly a quarter-century since its miraculous rebirth, the Bon Air Hotel’s legacy continues to thrive, safeguarded by a conservation easement held by The Georgia Trust. This guarantee ensures that the Bon Air Hotel remains a beacon of historic significance and community pride, preserved for generations to come. As we celebrate this remarkable success story, we are reminded that the preservation of our past is not just a duty but a cherished privilege—one that fosters vibrant, thriving communities steeped in history and purpose.

Bon Air Hotel, Bainbridge, before rehabilitation in 1999

Bon Air Hotel, Bainbridge, today

Support the work of the Georgia Trust and programs like the Revolving Fund by Becoming a Member today!

See more about the history of the Georgia Trust on our 50th Anniversary blog Celebrating 50.