Category Archives: Lawrenceville GA

Isaac Adair House, Circa 1827, Lawrenceville

Gwinnett County notes of this landmark house and its builder: Isaac Adair made his mark in the Gwinnett County community during the years of 1824-1844. He arrived from South Carolina in 1824 and settled in Lawrenceville. One of the oldest houses in Gwinnett County, the Isaac Adair House was built circa 1827 near the intersection of what is now Pike Street and Hurricane Shoals Road. It was disassembled and moved to Chandler Road starting in 1984. Gwinnett County agreed to move and preserve the historic structure when it bought the land for the Sugarloaf Parkway extension construction project in 2008.

The home is well constructed and represents a building style found in the southern states from 1780-1820. The architectural style is considered to be both Federal (Adam) and Georgian. Some of the characteristics of this style include a two-story box style that is two rooms deep with doors and windows in strict symmetry, paneled front door with glass, windows, and a side gable roof and small entry porch. Rectangular light and sidelights display a beautiful doorway. The construction of this home used hand-planed boards and mortise and tenon joints.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places but has since been de-listed. I’m unsure as to why, unless for its re-relocation. I have not been inside but the exterior appears to be a perfect renovation. Regardless, I think it’s wonderful that Gwinnett County found a prominent and home for it downtown. It’s accessible from the parking lot of the adjacent Lawrenceville Female Seminary.

Lawrenceville Female Seminary, 1855

A young ladies’ finishing school known as the Lawrenceville Female Seminary was established here in 1838. One of the trustees, Daniel Killian, was responsible for its construction. That structure, apparently very similar to this one, was destroyed by fire and was replaced by the present structure in 1855. It served as a seminary until 1886. In its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, it was described as simple, rather masculine, late-Federal early-Greek Revival. It is the most significant early public structure surviving in Lawrenceville.

The Lawrenceville Masonic Lodge No. 181 began using the second floor in 1860 and made it their home until the 1970s. Over the years the lower floor was occupied by various tenants and was also used as a public gathering place. It serves as the Gwinnett History Museum today.

National Register of Historic Places

Clarence R. Ware House, 1910, Lawrenceville

In a town which has lost the vast majority of its historic architecture, the home of Clarence R. Ware is a reminder of days gone by, before urbanization redefined Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County. Clarence R. Ware (1872-1955) served as Gwinnett County school superintendent from 1907-1920. He also served as the first president and director of the First National Bank of Lawrenceville.

National Register of Historic Places

Gwinnett County Courthouse, 1885, Lawrenceville

This courthouse, designed by English-born American architect Edmund George Lind*, served Gwinnett County until 1988, when population growth necessitated a move to a larger more modern facility. It is maintained as an event space today.

*- Lind, who practiced architecture in Atlanta from 1882-1892, also designed the Mary Willis Library in Washington.

National Register of Historic Places

Ezzard Building, 1952, Lawrenceville

The sign in front of this building at the corner of the courthouse square notes: Dr. Webster Price Ezzard was one of Lawrenceville’s most notable and recognized residents. A reliable and trusted country doctor, he served the community for over 60 years from his office on the town square, in the rear of the Jones Pharmacy Building, later Montfort Drugs. Dr. Ezzard delivered babies and made house calls for only $20. He charged his patients based on their ability to pay, often dispensing his services for free to people in need. Known for never taking a vacation, Dr. Ezzard was quoted as saying, “Retirement will come about two days before I go to the cemetery.” Dr. Ezzard’s drugstore soda fountain also provided a social setting for the young people of Lawrenceville. From the 1940s thru the 1960s, teens would gather for Coca Colas, malts, and dance the jitterbug to rock and roll. Dr. Ezzard’s son George took up the medical practice after his father’s death in 1963 at the age of 83. One of Dr. Ezzard’s most famous deliveries was 1949-51 Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles.