Drayton Arms Apartments, 1951, Savannah

savannah ga drayton arms apartments photograph copyright brian brown vanishing coastal georgia usa 2016

Designed in 1949 by Cletus W. & William P. Bergen for the Federal Housing Authority, the Drayton Arms Apartments (now known as Drayton Tower) was the first Modern or International style structure built in Savannah. It was also the first large scale apartment building in Georgia to have air conditioning. It’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 caused great controversy and it remains one of the most hated and unpopular buildings in the downtown historic district. However, when it was completed in 1951, Savannah had not yet begun a move toward preservation and the Drayton was thought to fill a niche for low cost urban housing for veterans and other applicable tenants. Regardless of its controversial nature, it is the most important work of Modern architecture in the city.

National Register of Historic Places

5 Comments

Filed under -CHATHAM COUNTY, Savannah GA

5 responses to “Drayton Arms Apartments, 1951, Savannah

  1. Melissa Pope Scott

    I LOVE this building. Always have. Could easily live in it. Typically, southerners are not open to modern design. That may be changing.

  2. Nfutral

    At this point I think much hell would be raised if anyone were to propose tearing this down. It has really grown on me, especially after seeing a pictorial of the views from inside. I think it would be a wonderful place to live on bustling Liberty Street with its nearby cafes. This is an angle I don’t see very often.

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  4. Tommy jenkins

    My Father, Thomas E. (Tom) Jenkins, with wife, Rita, rented Apartment 701 of the Drayton Arms Apartments, there in 1958 (and possibly the next 2 years). I was about age 7, and remember visiting him.the Summer of 1958. During the day Rita (my step mom)would take me and my younger brother, Jerry to the nearby park everyday, At the time he was owner & President of Coastal White Truck Company, inc. Savanna, Ga. and an avid golf player. Any information you have, regarding these times would be greatly appreciated. Tommy Jenkins, Chattanooga, Tn. (jenkins2Tom@aol.com)

  5. Malcolm O'Connell

    The year was 1956, I was in the 9th grade at Chatham Jr. High School. I had a very sexy art teacher, Miss Pat Drew. She took a liking to me and let me visit her in the Drayton Arms Apartments. She had a roommate, Nancy who was a Physical Education teacher at Chatham. Miss Drew had a new 1956 Ford Contiverable she would let me take and wash. I was big-time riding around downtown with the top down. I will ever be grateful for what I learned from her. In my memory Drayton Arms Apartments ill always be beautiful.

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