Choate Construction Company Selected as Recipient of HSF Preservation Award

Press release from the issuing company

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Choate Construction Company was recently selected to receive a 2015 Preservation Award from the Historic Savannah Foundation for the rehabilitation of One West Victory’s two historic buildings, known locally as the “red” and “yellow” buildings.

Each year during the Savannah Preservation Festival, HSF honors individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate outstanding excellence in historic preservation. Choate was one of 16 award winners recognized by the foundation.

For several decades, locals and visitors alike passed by the derelict structures that once housed the old Savannah Ice Company that set up shop back in 1898. Inspired by the desire to help preserve a piece of Savannah’s heritage, Choate took on the mixed-use rehabilitation project in the spring of 2013.  The $25 million renovation of the 124,000-SF property transformed the two late 19th century buildings into a hip and vibrant corner of Savannah once again.

Greeting passers by at the intersection of Victory and Bull, now sits the highly buzzed about Italian-focused eatery, The Florence, by local celebrity chef Hugh Acheson. The red building, which can be found next door, was transformed into a residential amenities center for the nearby LEED certified student living development. 

In an effort to preserve the rich history of the century-old structures, portions of the yellow building were carefully dissembled and reused when possible.  Floor and roof beams taken down during select demolition were stored offsite and reworked into the new design so that all exposed rafters were those original to the building.  Choate had sections of masonry wall hauled offsite, then meticulously cleaned and palletized for reuse. As a result, The Florence is completely constructed of the original ice factory bricks. Windows, light fixtures, door elements and timber were also extricated from the building and then refurbished, repurposed, and incorporated into final construction. 

No detail was too small for the team, as even an antique scale that had been built into the floor of the original ice building was carefully disassembled and reinstalled to pay homage to the building’s origins. Choate worked closely with Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects to deliver the mixed-use project ahead of schedule. 

The awards were presented Thursday, May 7th during the Preservation Awards Luncheon at the Savannah Golf Club.