Chatham County Courthouse

In 1764, Peter Tondee and Joseph Dunlap were commissioned to build the colonial courthouse in Savannah. The courthouse was finally completed in 1773. It was a nondescript brick building that faced Wright Square. At the onset of the American Revolution, the loyalists had to abandon the courthouse and the building became the first courthouse for Chatham County. The state's use of the courthouse was limited however because at the end of 1778, the British captured Savannah and occupied it until the end of the war. The British reclaimed the courthouse and used it as a barracks for troops. There was a great fire that Savannah suffered under in 1796 and this same fire destroyed the interior of the courthouse. This caused court sessions to be held in other buildings throughout the city.

In the fall of 1830, the old brick courthouse was torn down and a new building was begun at the same site. The new building was completed in May of 1832. While the new building was being constructed, court was held in Savannah's City Exchange.

Savannah once again was subjected to military occupation during the Civil War. However, the courthouse made it through again. Twenty years later, Chatham County was authorized to expand and improve the courthouse. The decision was made to build a new courthouse instead. The old courthouse was demolished in 1889 and a new building of Romanesque Revival architecture was built in its place.

In the latter half of the 1970's, a new courthouse was desired, but the old courthouse was so cherished that they did not tear it down. Instead, in 1978, Chatham County built a new six story courthouse and converted the old courthouse into administrative and legislative offices.

133 Montgomery St.

(912) 652 - 7175