The Elizabeth Mirault House was built circa 1861 in Savannah’s Beach Institute neighborhood. It is an excellent example of a vernacular side-hall house and is a rare example of an antebellum house built by freedmen. Mirault was the daughter of Haitian refugees who immigrated to Savannah during the Haitian Revolution. She was of mixed descent, and like others in Savannah’s Beach Institute area, the house was deeded to her and not her husband, Simon Mirault. Simon, a mason, built the adjacent house for Elizabeth’s daughter in 1862. After a number of years of deterioration and insensitive additions, a complete rehabilitation was initiated in 2020. All original features and materials were repaired or replaced in-kind, including the brick foundation, wood siding, windows, interior plaster and floors. The front porch, which had been altered in the 1970s to incorporate concrete breeze block, was restored to reflect a period appropriate design with simple wood detailing. On the rear facade, a poorly constructed first floor addition was rehabilitated and returned to an earlier, simpler footprint based on Sanborn maps. The project received state and federal historic tax credits and now highlights the character of this contributing house in Savannah’s Historic Landmark District.
Excellence in Rehabilitation Awards recognize projects that make compatible use of a building through repair, alterations or additions while preserving features of the property that convey its historic value.