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2015 – The Kress Building, 832-838 Broad Street

Kress Building

Address: 832-838 Broad Street

Owner: Privately Owned

History and Significance:

  1. H. Kress, one of the nation’s most successful five and dime chain stores, was first opened in the 900 block of Broad Street in downtown Augusta in 1898. The current location at 832-838 Broad Street began operating as the Kress Department Store in 1913, and it was closed in 1980. A major fire cause significant damage to the property January 29, 1940 as reported in the Augusta Chronicle.  The 1940 Kress Department Store fire was considered the worst fire since the 1929 Rubens Department Store blaze.  Purchased by the current owner in 1988, the 40,000 square foot building features a prominent store front within the Central Business District. The large open floor plan of the former department store would allow for rehabilitation into a variety of business opportunities for downtown Augusta.

Threat:  Vacant, property is not weather-tight, moisture will cause additional interior and possible structural damage

Potential Uses:  Retail space, commercial office space, restaurant, incoming producing loft style apartments

Preservation Tools: 1); A contributing resource in the Augusta Downtown Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is therefore eligible for all programs of the National Register which include available grant funds and tax incentives for certified rehabilitations; (2) located in the Augusta Downtown Local Historic District which means that any alteration to the exterior, including demolition, should be approved by the  Augusta Richmond County Historic Preservation Commission