The History Behind Our #ClientBigGrayHouse Project


If you’ve been following along with our work, you’ve likely seen a few images from our #ClientBigGrayHouse project. (And if not, go check them out on our Instagram — it’s worth it, so we’ll wait.)

This corner townhome in the historic district has had an impressive tenure here in Savannah. We were thrilled to accept the challenge of both honoring the home’s past while giving it a fresh feel to carry it into the future.

Before we get too far into the details of the home’s new look, we first want to tell you a little more about its 130 + years past.

A Longstanding History

The gray Italianate mansion rising above Columbia Square was originally built in 1884 by renowned Savannah businessman William Kehoe. Kehoe is most notably known as the founder of the original Kehoe Iron Works on East Broughton Street, and the home is still a beautiful showcase for locally made iron balconies and banisters today.

In addition to starting Kehoe Iron Works, the prominent Savannahian was critical to the development of Tybee Island as a major beach haven in the South Atlantic. He served as both president of the Tybee Beach Company and the Hotel Tybee Company, and he was also an originator of the Savannah to Tybee Railroad.

Kehoe built two homes on Columbia Square: a towering brick mansion that now serves as the Kehoe House Deluxe Inn, and our corner #ClientBigGrayHouse. Measuring at nearly 6,000 square feet over three stories and a carriage house, the townhome has six bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.

The home’s location on Columbia Square, just steps away from Broughton Street, puts it within walking distance to some of the most visited places in Savannah. And its stunning gray and iron facade have made it one of the most photographed homes in our city.

The Kehoe Home Today: A Modern Refresh

In 2015, the home underwent a major renovation by Dawson Architects, which is now LS3P Associates LTD that earned it a Preservation Award from the Historic Savannah Foundation. Shortly after in 2016, the newly-renovated home was purchased by a young professional wildlife photographer.

After moving in, our client decided the home needed a modern spin, but one that would also preserve the unique history of the house. So, he enlisted us at Rethink Design Studio to create the right look and feel and help the house better reflect his needs.  As a young guy, his habits and use of space were a bit different and he challenged us to make the home more comfortable and casual. We wanted to ensure the home still had refinement and could incorporate inspiration from our client’s stunning work.






Joel SnaydComment