New owners share plans for Historic Kiah House

Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 10:16 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - At Monday’s Historic Preservation Commission meeting, the new owners of the Historic Kiah House came before the committee with their finished plans and requests to rebuild and rehab parts of the property.

This is just the first step for the future for the house. When it was first purchased earlier this year, the Historic Savannah Foundation and its partners knew that these were the next steps, a detailed plan on the conditions of the house and how they plan to restore it while staying within the historic guidelines.

A 60-page proposal came before the Historic Preservation Commission.

“The applicant is requesting the approval for rehabilitation and alterations to the main house at 505 W 36th street as well as demolish and rebuild the accessory house at the back of the property.”

An evaluation of the property showed that when it comes to the accessory house, most if not all of the building was unable to be saved. Saying that due to lack of upkeep over many years the foundation has been destroyed by the elements and termites and is not safe to restore.

Instead, the plan is to rebuild the accessory house from the ground up creating a two-story building just larger than what is currently sitting there. The Historic Commission recommended that the materials of the accessory house be salvaged and used in other ways.

However, the Main House proved to have good bones and will undergo rehabilitation which includes a new roof, restoration of wooden panels on the side of the house, and a newly restored wrap around porch was previously removed.

The proposal also included photos of what the house previously looked like so that developers will have an idea of how to restore a design appropriately.

The current plan lists designs for the inside as well that have mimicked what the original museum looked like. Taking inspiration from old photos of the house and the museum.