A 6.3 acre brownfield, vacant for over 28 years, this complex was once the site of an iron foundry and a gas company, with buildings dating from 1873 through 1902. Due to the environmental concerns related to its use, the Kehoe Iron Works seemed doomed for eternal neglect and abandonment. Thanks to the strong vision of a Savannah business leader, Charles Morris, and the culmination of four years of construction, today the complex features 8,000 square feet for events and gatherings and an outdoor plaza and amphitheater featuring a commanding view of the Savannah River. The challenging rehabilitation included structural stabilization and restoration of the historic metal Machine Shop and masonry Foundry buildings. All historic elements were preserved throughout, including the repointing of historic brick walls, repair and reuse of historic wood windows, and the restoration of architectural and decorative iron features. The central tower’s historic metal mansard roof and dormers were restored, and a replica widow’s walk and chimney cap were reconstructed based on historic photographs. Intent on leaving a lasting community legacy, Mr. Morris’ vision and historic preservation ethic has brought back to life what was long a forgotten and abandoned section of Savannah’s landmark district and an important piece of the city’s industrial, cultural, and architectural history.
The building also received an award for Excellence in Rehabilitation.
The Marguerite Williams Award is presented annually to the project that has had the greatest impact on preservation in the state.