E.

A nde rson Stre et

Waters Avenue School / Romana Riley Elementary
Andrew Webb . HIPR 706 . Preservation Research and Survey . Professor Chad Keller . Fall 2011
Built in 1916, Waters Avenue School, now called Romana Riley Elementary, served as an elementary school for students with “below average privileges” of working-class families of Eastern Savannah. Waters Avenue School is located just inside the southern border of the Eastside Historic District of Savannah, bounded by E. Gwinnett and E. Anderson Streets to the north and south and Cedar and East Broad Streets to the east and west; it was developed as a series of subdivisions that followed the establishment of streetcar lines by Jacob S. Collins through the area in 1891.

Wa ters

A ve nue

Aven u

Ann

e

1916 Photo of the Waters Avenue School in Savannah, Georgia. The school was designed by J. DeBruyn Kops and is primarily made of red brick with limestone details. Image courtesy of The American Architect, Vol.CX, No. 2127.

Wat

ers

Ave

nue

Sch

E. A

ool

nder

son

Stree

t

The school is anv excellent example of the Gothic Revival Style. Important character defining features, that are still much intact, include pointed arches and flanking Gothic towers over the main entries; wide overhanging eaves and a shallow hip roof; patterned stone coping along the central south-facing parapet wall; carved stone relief panels between the first and second level windows; nine over nine wood frame windows; double lined foundation bands of carved limestone; an elevated, granite loggia (principle entry) with carved limestone balustrades. The most uncommon detail is the asymmetrical stone quoining on all building corners, including the Waters Avenue School Annex, and around all openings. The asymmetrical quoining is subtle, but sets the building apart from other comparable buildings, referencing older ecclesiastical structures that used rough cut ashlar stones to form asymmetrical quoins.

Second Level

Photo Viewpoints: Diagram showing vantage points of all taken photos, including the Waters Avenue School and the Annex.

H
First Level

H
Hybrid H-Plan School. Typical floor plan of turn of the century schools. Classrooms clustered around a central corridor. There are two levels and a basement. In the late 20’s the basement was converted into a lunchroom. Unusual irregular quoining. Often found in buildings centuries older, there appears to be no pattern or rhythm to their application.

Wate rs

1

Sch

ool

ex

2

3

4

5

6