Throwback Thursday: 36 West Broughton Street

One thing that we get asked about a lot is the history of our amazing building. And while we know bits & pieces, we decided to take a little field trip to the Georgia Historical Society to do some more serious digging. And we found out some pretty interesting stuff!

Our building in the distance on the left
Our building is located in Derby Ward, which was one of the first four original wards in downtown Savannah when the city was founded in 1773. In 1851, the structure in our current building's location, as well as many of the buildings around it, were completely lost in a fire. This was due largely in part to the fact that the buildings at this time were primarily constructed of wood.

Derby Ward
It wasn't until 1878 that the building that we occupy today came to be, thanks to a man named John Lyons. We found this excerpt published in the Savannah Morning News on May 31, 1978: "The handsome building known as the "Lyons Block," at the corner of Whitaker & Broughton streets...is the adoration of every citizen & is justly regarded as not only a decided ornament to Broughton Street, the great retail business thoroughfare of Savannah, but as probably the handsomest & most stylist row of buildings in the city." (Whew those writers back in 1878 were wordy!)

The article goes on to say: "The first floor of the corner building, which fronts on Broughton & Whitaker streets, will be occupied by Mr. John Lyons as a wholesale & retail grocery establishment...The store is provided with large magnificent show windows on both streets & splendid commodious entrances, and will be the finest looking establishment in the city. The cellar is 30 x 90 feet, has a brick floor cemented, thorough ventilation & light, and is perfectly dry & clean. In fact, no better cellars can be found anywhere than those with which the various stores in this block are provided."

Early 1900s
From then on, the Lyons Block became the mixed-used commercial center of Broughton Street. In addition to Mr. Lyon's grocery store, other rooms in the property served as everything from a dentist's office to a shoe store to a pub. The third floor of the building was even at one time known as Lyons Hall & served as a meeting place for social organizations. Although the facade of the building was drastically altered & modernized in the 1950s, by the time 36 West Broughton Street became home to The Paris Market in 2005, the building had been beautifully restored to it's original Italianate style.


1 comment:

Ashley @ The Houston House said...

How cool! So beautiful then and now!