Author Archives: Brian Brown

About Brian Brown

Brian Brown is a documentary photographer, author, and historian who lives in Coastal Georgia.

John Phinizy House, Circa 1835, Augusta

One of Augusta’s most important architectural landmarks, the raised Greek Revival home of John Phinizy (7 January 1793-4 July 1884) is thought to be the work of the great Irish-born Georgia architect Charles Cluskey, though this has not been confirmed to my knowledge. Phinizy was of Italian descent, his father Ferdinand having migrated to America from Parma.

Soon after John Phinizy’s death, his son Charles H. Phinizy and his wife, Mary Louise Yancey, hired Tiffany & Company to redecorate the interior (circa 1885). They added the top floor in the 1890s. The family remained in the home until 1933. After brief service as a funeral home, it served until 1996 as the Elks Lodge. It has most recently been used as an event space.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Jacob Phinizy House, 1882, Augusta

This Second Empire house was built for Jacob Phinizy (9 August 1857-30 May 1924) circa 1882. Phinizy was the great-nephew of John Phinizy, owner of the iconic house next door, and a cotton factor with his family’s firm, F. Phinizy and Company. He also served as a president of the Georgia Railroad Bank. His father’s family was from Oglethorpe County.

Beginning in 1946, the house served for many years as the Poteet Funeral Home. It was modernized at that time by the local architectural firm of Scroggs & Ewing.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Patrick H. Rice House, 1890s, Augusta

This Queen Anne house, possibly from a Barber plan book, was built for Patrick H. Rice. A recent restoration has replaced unsightly brick porch posts with more accurate versions.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 1926, Augusta

German-speaking Augustans first organized a Lutheran congregation, Saint Matthew’s, in the 1850S and their 1860 house of worship still stands at another location, home today to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association. A congregation catering to English-speaking members, Holy Trinity English Lutheran Church, was established in the 1880s. The two merged in the early 1920s as the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection and built this limestone-clad sanctuary between 1925-1926.

Local architects Philander P. Scroggs (1888-1960) and Whitley L. Ewing (1888-1953) designed the church in the Gothic style. Their firm built numerous structures in early 20th-century Augusta.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Perkins-Cullum House, 1901, Augusta

This Colonial Revival home was built for lumberman Henry C. Perkins, who owned Perkins Manufacturing and Augusta Sash and Door. It was later home to his daughter, Gertrude, and her husband, St. Julian Cullum. Mr. Cullum owned a shoe store and later, Cullum’s Department Store.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Old First Baptist Church, 1902, Augusta

The Baptists organized in Augusta around 1817 and built their first church home at this site in 1821. In that structure, the Southern Baptist Convention was established in 1845. This structure, designed by architect Willis Franklin Denny and built in 1902, served the congregation until 1975. It has been home to other churches over the years.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Warren House, 1870s, Augusta

This exemplar of the Sand Hills Cottage style is a particularly nice example, with a Greek Revival facade. It was built for Captain William Henry Warren and his wife, Mary Moore Warren. Mrs. Warren was involved in benevolent projects, including the Mizpah Circle of the International Order of the King’s Daughters, which sought to improve the lives of its members through service to those less fortunate. Upon Mrs. Warren’s death in 1903, her estate set aside money for the establishment of the Mary Warren Home on Broad Street (later in Summerville) to care for indigent women and children. It served the community for many years.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Stovall-Barnes House, 1860, Augusta

This house was built on the eve of the Civil War for Bolling Anthony Stovall (19 August 1827-24 August 1887), a prominent Piedmont merchant and engineer born in Hancock County to a well-to-do family who had come to Georgia from Virginia. Upon moving to Augusta, he began work as a cotton factor while attending Richmond Academy before entering Franklin College (University of Georgia). He studied civil engineering and worked in Alabama and Mississippi for a few years before returning to Georgia. He was also a surveyor for improvements to the Georgia State Road and worked with Major John G. Greene in the survey of the Atlanta & West Point Railroad. Because employment in engineering was sporadic at the time, he joined his father in his wholesale grocery business at Stovall & McLaughlin in Augusta. At the outset of the war, he entered the Confederate service as a sergeant with Company A, Richmond Hussars, Cobb’s Legion. He was transferred to the engineering corps as a lieutenant under General John Bankhead Magruder during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, before finishing out the war as a captain in the subsistence department under the command of fellow Augustan General Isaac Munroe St. John. He married Mattie Wilson after the war and worked for many years as a traveling agent with the Georgia Chemical Works of Augusta.

Stovall’s son, Pleasant Alexander Stovall (7 July 1857-14 May 1935), lived in the house until his parents left Augusta for Athens, in 1873. He became a prominent journalist and eventual owner of a Savannah newspaper. His childhood friend, President Woodrow Wilson, appointed him Ambassador to Switzerland in 1913, where he served until 1919.

Congressman George T. Barnes purchased the home in 1873 and in the 20th century it was used as a residential hotel/boarding house.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Union Baptist Parsonage, Circa 1870, Augusta

This was built by the Greene Street Methodist Church circa 1870 as a school for Black children and a parsonage. It also served the Union Baptist Church as a parsonage and was later used as a rental property.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Union Baptist Church, 1851 & 1888, Augusta

The original section of this structure, dating to circa 1851, served as a mission of the Presbyterian Church, and though that congregation was not successful, the location was used as a Sunday School for enslaved Blacks during the Civil War. It later served as the Greene Street Methodist church before it became the Union Baptist Church in 1883. The Augusta architectural firm of MacMurphy & Story created the exquisite structure seen today in 1888. The Society of Architectural Historians considers it “one of the finest Carpenter Gothic buildings in the state” and I concur. Historic Augusta, Inc., restored the structure for the congregation between 1997-2010.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places