Two Choate Savannah Projects Earn Historic Preservation Awards

Staff Report

Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Choate Construction Company is honored to announce two significant projects have earned Historic Preservation Awards, presented by the Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF). 38th Street School and The Darling Oyster Bar were recognized for the excellence demonstrated in construction and the contributions of key stakeholders that further the preservation of Savannah’s rich history. 

“The beauty of historic renovations is that no matter how many you’ve worked on in the past, there are always new treasures and invigorating challenges waiting for you in the next project,” shares Robbie Stewart, Project Executive for Choate Construction’s Interiors Division. “We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with a strong network of talented partners to preserve our local history, help revitalize these neighborhoods, and bring these structures back to life in a way that honors their history and brings value to the Savannah community.” 

38th Street School

Choate partners with Cabretta Capital, LS3P Associates LTD, Tharpe Engineering Group, and Ward Architecture + Preservation on the historic renovation and preservation of the 100-year-old school in Savannah’s Streetcar District. The adaptive reuse project transforms the two-story building and partial basement into 27 boutique apartments, while preserving the historical features of the building, including the original wood floors, tongue and groove ceilings, exterior stucco, exterior metal fascia trim, the remaining original entry windows, doors and transoms, interior plaster, interior trim and wainscoting, exterior columns, and masonry walls, in addition to repurposing the school’s doors and chalkboards.

The Choate team mobilized in January 2022 with the demolition of the building’s non-historic materials, including all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, windows, tiling, various lighting fixtures, and chain-link fences. Completed in December, this renovation included new partitions and finishes for the apartments, newly installed site utilities, and new mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems.

Darling Oyster Bar

Choate partners with B&B Savannah, LLC , Lynch Associates Architects, and Tharpe Engineering Group to convert 27th Montgomery Street into The Darling Oyster Bar. The owners expand their hit restaurant from Charleston, SC to the Hostess City of the South in the City’s iconic City Market area. Constructed in the 1800s, this 130-year-old historic building has been integral to the development of Savannah’s community, serving the area as a cigar factory, boarding house, and antique store. The adaptive reuse and historic renovation process of this project will bring community residents and visitors a vibrant dining destination, complete with two full-service bars, a raw bar, and ample dining space with private dining options on the first and second floors.

In addition to preserving much of the building’s original brick and wood features, the main dining room will showcase a dramatic, two-story ceiling that mimics the inside of a wooden ship through high-quality carpentry. Complete restoration of the exterior includes masonry and stucco repairs, as well as new mahogany and steel storefront systems. Due to the age of the building and lack of straight lines or leveling, nearly every aspect has to be customized to fit the existing space properly, including windows, MEP systems, flooring, and custom carpentry.