Located in the heart of downtown Savannah, the Old Chatham County Jail was an iconic landmark for many years before its demolition. The Old Chatham County Jail was originally built in 1887 and began operations in 1888. A fire destroyed its original Byzantine dome in 1898 and was quickly replaced with the existing Moorish turret that includes four small cast-iron balconies. It was a model jail in its day, and continuously housed prisoners in its 117 cells, each measuring five-by-ten feet.
Outgrowing their previous home and needing a bigger facility to house all the inmates, the county moved from the old jail on Habersham Street into the new structure. In 1978, with a capacity of 381 inmates, Old Chatham County Jail would cease operations. Although the Old Chatham County Jail was no longer in use, it was still widely renowned as a gorgeous architectural achievement following renovations in 1957 by Bergen and Bergen Architects. To preserve its illustrious history and further showcase the building itself, the property was donated to SCAD in 1986. Today it is named Habersham Hall and houses a beautiful display of the restoration work.
Habersham Hall is located at 235 Habersham St., Savannah, GA 31401. For private tours, information can be found at the SCAD website.