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Chatham County

Chatham County is named for William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, who was the British Prime Minister who was sympathetic to the American cause during the period leading up to the American Revolutionary War.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

– Jasper County, South Carolina

E – Atlantic Ocean

S – Liberty County and Bryan County

W – Bryan County and Effingham County

 

Created:  February 5, 1777                    Map of Georgia highlighting Chatham County

County Seat: 

Savannah  1777 – present

 

County Courthouse – Savannah 

 

Location:  133  Montgomery Street / West York Street

Built:  1976 – 1978

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Maddox and Associates

Contractor:  Batson-Cook Company Inc.

 

Description:  The building faces east and is a six story buff colored stone and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds on the west side of the center of Savanah. The building has narrow horizontal windows and the first story has a recessed entrance. The roof line is flat. In the interior there is a wide entrance hallway running east-west. There are nine County Superior Court courtrooms. The building houses the County Superior Court, County State Court, County Juvenile Court, County Probate Court and County Magistrate Court of the 1st Judicial District. The building is named as the J Tom Coleman Courthouse – Judicial Center. On the south side is the new County Courthouse is now under construction.

 

New County Courthouse – Savannah 

 

 

Location:  NW – West Oglwethorpe Avenue / Montgomery Street

Built:  2021 – 2024

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Dewberry Architect and Barnard Architect

Contractor:  J E Dunn Construction Company.

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a five story buff stone, glass and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds on the west side of the center of Savanah along the south side of the courthouse. The south front has six large columns rising to the top of the fourth story. Behind the columns is a glass panel wall with entrance on the first story. The roof line is flat. The building will have seven courtrooms. 

 

Old County Courthouse – Savannah 

 

 

Location:  124 Bull Street / West Bryan Street

Built:  1887 – 1889

Style:  Romanesque Revival

Architect:  William Preston

Contractor:  Miles & Bradt.

 

Description:  The building faces west and is a three story yellow-buff colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on an entire block along the east side of Wright Square in the center of Savannah. The west front has a large arch on the first story with recessed entrance. On the north side, the building rises to a a fenced patio and beside it rises the clock tower. The roof is hipped. In the interior is a long hallway on the first story. The Council Chamber is located on the second story and once served as the courtroom. The building is named as the Administrative Legislative Center. The building is named as the Administrative Legislative Center. The building was renovated in 1954.The architect was Thomas Hawthorne & Associates and the contractor was Olaf Otto Contractor. The building was further renovated in 1991. The architect was L Scott Burnard & Associates and the contractor was W C Carson Contractors.

 

Note:  The first state constitution in 1777 created eight counties: Burke CountyCamden County, Chatham County, Effingham County, Glynn County, Liberty County, Richmond County and Wilkes County. These were carved out of the coastal areas that were settled when Georgia was a British colony.

 

History:  The county was created in 1777 and Savannah was selected as the county seat. A courthouse was built after 1752 when Georgia became a royal colony. In 1765, the a second courthouse, a red colored brick structure,  was built on Wright Square by Peter Tondee and Joseph Dunlap and completed in 1773, and in 1778, it became the first county courthouse when the county was created. In 1796, the courthouse was damaged by fire, repaired in 1804 and used until 1830. The second county courthouse was built in 1831 to 1832 at a cost of $27,484. In 1889, the courthouse was demolished. The third courthouse was constructed in 1887 to 1889 and is still standing. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1976 to 1978. The fifth courthouse is presently under construction from 2021 to 2024.

 

 

County Courthouse – Savannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Superior Court courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Superior Court courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New County Courthouse – Savannah 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old County Jail ( now demolished 2019 ) – Savannah

 

 

Old County Courthouse – Savannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council Chamber – former courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2008, 2018 and 2024