Tag Archives: Architecture of David Demarest

Mercer Institute Science Building, 1853, Penfield

Photo Courtesy of Lamar Sanders

I’m excited to be able to share this historic photograph of the Science Building of the Mercer Institute, predecessor of Mercer University in Macon. It was graciously shared by Lamar Sanders, who took it in 1970. Almost certainly the work of builder/architect David Demarest, the Greek Revival structure served as the Penfield Village School after Mercer moved to Macon, but was badly damaged by a fire in 1977 and eventually demolished.

Old Mercer Chapel, 1846, Penfield

Penfield was named for Savannah silversmith Josiah Penfield, who in 1829 bequeathed $2500 to the Georgia Baptist Convention for the advancement of education. Mercer University was established here in 1833 as the Mercer Institute, named for the Reverend Jesse Mercer. The chapel was designed by David Demarest, who was also responsible for the Greene County Courthouse. After the Civil War, Mercer University relocated to Macon and the chapel was given to the congregation of Penfield Baptist Church. Their original home had been destroyed by a tornado. Today, Old Mercer Chapel is among the most revered churches among Georgia’s Baptists and is one of the best Greek Revival churches in the state.

Penfield Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Greene County Courthouse, 1848, Greensboro

Considered by many to be one of Georgia’s finest public examples of Greek Revival architecture, the present courthouse in Greensboro was built by Atharates Atkinson after a design by David Demarest. The upper floor was designed specifically to house the local Masonic Lodge, which it still does today.

National Register of Historic Places