Tuesday, August 27, 2013

HSF sells PJ O'Connor House to SCAD prof

Posted on Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) recently sold the P.J. O’Connor House, a HSF Revolving Fund property located at 222 E. 32nd Street in the Thomas Square Streetcar Historic District, to SCAD historic preservation professor Jim Abraham.

The property serves as a capstone project in HSF’s Lincoln Street Initiative, which began a decade ago and facilitated the renovation of some of the most derelict properties in the Thomas Square neighborhood.


“We’re delighted we found a local preservation-minded buyer who appreciates the unique opportunity the P.J. O’Connor House presents,” said HSF president and CEO Daniel Carey. “Jim Abraham has the knowledge, experience and commitment to restore this Victorian house to its former glory and re-anchor that corner. After a long period of benign neglect, the P.J. O’Connor House now has a bright future.”

Abraham previously served as the project manager on the Lucas Theater’s restoration and oversaw the renovation of the Kennedy Pharmacy on Broughton Street. He plans to restore the two-story structure, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and move into the residence once renovations are complete.

“When I visited the P.J. O’Connor House, I immediately realized the property has great bones and incredible potential,” he explains. “Many of the interior details are intact. I’m looking forward to completing a period-sensitive restoration.”

Abraham is currently conducting a paint analysis to determine the house’s original exterior color and plans to re-coat the metal roof, repair damaged overhangs and replace the home’s missing front porch in the next several months. His goal is to complete additional exterior and interior renovations next year.

Constructed in 1885, the P. J. O’Connor House is an architecturally significant Victorian house featuring 2,310 square feet of living space. Located at the corner of 32nd Street and Lincoln Street, the property includes period details like original fireplaces, hardwood floors, molding and gingerbread detailing.

The house was originally built by Savannah attorney, alderman and philanthropist P.J. O’Connor, who served as the National President and National Director of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and was a cousin of author Flannery O’Connor.

Historic Savannah Foundation placed protective covenants on the property, which transferred with the recent sale of the home. As a condition of the closing, substantial work must begin in earnest within six months and must be completed within 24 months.

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