Scarbrough House (currently the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum)

William Jay

East Elevation (front facade)

William Scarbrough, a cotton merchant and principal investor in the steamship Savannan, had this home, which he called "the Castle," built in time for a visit from President James Monroe. In the early 19th century this was one of the most fashionable neighborhoods and this house was the center of social life for a time. William Jay, the 25-year-old architect from England (originally Bath), had professional associations with architects who had been involved in the rebuilding of Regent Street. Thus, he brought this elegant Regency style to Savannah. (See also his Richardson House and Telfair House.) The new Greek Revival style is characterized by extensive use of classical ornament and the use of cast iron for both structure and ornament. This house was one of the earliest examples of the Greek Revival style in domestic architecture in the South.

Oblique views of the front

The front portico uses the Doric order, the sternest of the Greek orders. It is echoed in the carriage gate to the right. Below the arched windows there is a relief with the Greek key (or meander) design. Above the portico a large half round window lights the interior.

Views of the side

The house has undergone several alterations and restorations. most recently by Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum; they added a new roof based on historically documented designs by the architect as well as a new rear portico and an enlarged garden.

See the Richard Richardson House and the Alexander Telfair House by William Jay.

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© 2009 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.