Owens-Thomas House

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124 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA, USA

Owens-Thomas House Savannah Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
579 reviews
A house ahead of its time Apr 02, 2012
The Owens-Thomas House represents one of the grandest antebellum mansions of the Savannah historic district. It was designed by English architect William Jay and built in 1816-1819 for cotton merchant and banker Richard Richardson and his wife Francis Bolton. English Regency style. It was one of the most advanced houses in America for its time, including indirect natural lighting and indoor plumbing providing flush toilets and running water. The Marquis de Lafayette stayed at the house in 1825. He is said to have given an address to Savannahians from the cast-iron balcony on President Street. The layout of the property occupied an entire block on Oglethorpe Square, consisting of the house, the Carriage House, and a garden between the two.

The Owens-Thomas House is operated today as a historic house museum by the Telfair Museum. Admission and house tour are $20.

The house tour begins with the slave quarters in the Carriage House. The walls and ceilings are still painted in the original "Haint Blue" and have been amazingly preserved. (A haint is a spirit that cannot cross water. The Gullah people believed blue scheme would protect them.)

The kitchen and service area occupy the full above ground basement. The cistern that supplied the house with running water is still here. (Plumbing is exposed in different parts of the house.) Upstairs are the parlor and dining room. A shallow niche in the dining room holds a massive built-in Regency serving table. A reverse curve of the wall above the serving table is fitted with amber glass through which daylight is filtered as an early indirect-lighting device. On the second floor, the hallway connecting the two sides of the house is built like a bridge. It curves up to provide additional clearance over the central staircase.

Interior photography is not permitted.

Owens-Thomas House front facade
Owens-Thomas House historical mark…
Owens-Thomas House (1819). The Mar…
Owens-Thomas House garden and Carr…
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