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  • Writer's pictureHistoric Columbus

Lost Columbus (Pt. 3): Chase Conservatory, 10th St. School, Waverly Hotel, 3rd Ave Homes, & St. Paul

These buildings and their stories will be featured in a new exhibit created by Historic Columbus and placed in the RiverCenter at the beginning of April. The next time you are at a show or just visiting Uptown, please take a look. We are very grateful for this new partnership! This sample, focused on the greater downtown area, is what would create the impetus for the preservation movement in Columbus over fifty-five years ago. Your love for our town is the driving force behind the mission of Historic Columbus. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office by phone 706-322-0756 or email

SOURCES: Columbus, Georgia 1828 - 1978 by Dr. John S. Lupold, Columbus on the Chattahoochee by Etta Blanchard Worsley, The Columbus, Georgia Centenary by Nancy Telfair, Columbus Georgia's Fall Line "Trading Town" by Joseph B. Mahan, the Library of Congress Historic American Building Survey, and historic postcards from the collection of Historic Columbus and The Columbus Museum.


The arts were also just as important in Columbus in the late 1800s as they are today. George W. Chase was from New York and a graduate of Howard College. George and his family decided to settle in Columbus, taking up his father's profession of music. George was a band leader in the Confederate Army and was considered one of the best. It was at one time attached to General Benning's brigade. It also followed Stonewall Jackson on many of his marches. At the end of the Civil War, George returned to Columbus and resumed the teaching of music, being connected for a while with the Columbus Female College (on the southeast corner of Third Avenue and 15th Street) as the director of its music department.

Columbus Female College (SE corner of Third Avenue and 15th Street)

George Chase founded the Chase Conservatory of Music in 1891 and was its first president. The school was located at 220 10th Street. Beginning with limited enrollment the institution grew and broadened in its work until it became one of the top recognized musical institutions of the Southeast. By 1900, the curriculum was fully established with primary, intermediate, and collegiate levels of study. The school offered teaching certificates, diplomas, and graduate diplomas. By 1904, the conservatory moves into its spacious brand-new building on 10th Street and Third Avenue. They were presenting regular recitals and a lecture series of visiting artists. The faculty was chosen with great care with the teachers usually having a diploma from a New England Conservatory.

Over the years, George gave up the management of the school to his sons Louis and George E. Chase who became its president and secretary, respectively. The school continued to graduate excellent musicians through the Great Depression, but with the death of both sons by 1942, the conservatory came to an end. The building stood for another 27 years until it was demolished in 1969 for a parking lot.


The first modern school building in the public school system came into being when the Board of Trustees erected this two-story brick structure. Improved methods of teaching and the range of instruction were also showing steady progress at this time. This elementary school was built in 1888 and located at 1004 Second Avenue, the northwest corner of Second Avenue and 10th Street. The Tenth Street School, as it was called, was built as the new public school for boys. It cost $26,861.71 to build. Smith & Smith served as the builders and W.S. Smith & Co. were the architects of this beautiful building. Public School enrollment in 1888: White schools – Boys’ school, 399; Girls’ school, 395; and Rose Hill, 85. African American schools - Sixth Avenue, 622; Claflin, 245; and 28th Street, 133. The school faced the east side of the Springer Opera House and was diagonal from the county courthouse (now the Government Center). The school was demolished in 1934 to make way for a fire station. The site has served as a fire station since that time. The corner was also the site of First Presbyterian Church until 1862.


In the 1913 edition of the Tradesman, it reports that R. Curtis Jordan, G. Gunby Jordan, and J. A. Betjeman filed application for charter of the Waverly Hotel Co. – with the minimum stock to be $30,000 and maximum to be $200,000 to remodel an existing building that would become the Waverly Hotel. It was located on the northwest corner of 13th Street and 1st Avenue. It officially opened in 1914 with a brand-new stucco façade and Mission style influence. The Waverly Hotel was later purchased in 1932 by Jack Walton. It was a very popular hotel for many years, hosting lots of the premier functions in town. It operated until 1985, when it was demolished to build the Carmike Building.


High Uptown is located on Second and Third Avenues between 14th and Railroad Streets. This district has a fine collection of circa 1850-1920 houses. These homes in the 1600 block of Third Avenue are representative of the economic mix of people within this historic area, as well as its racial diversity. High Uptown was home to some of the wealthiest white families in Columbus and many working class African American families. They were a significant testimony to this being an integrated neighborhood in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The homes on the east side of the 1600 block appear to begin construction by 1895. They would all have some elements of Victorian detail. The African American families that originally lived in the homes include John and Annie Phillips (carpenter), John and Gertrude Godwin (plumber), John and Hester Stewart (miller), William and Maude Price (post office), Wiley and Sarah Storey (hackman), Charles Bolen (carpenter), Lon Allen (laborer), Simeon and Alvavia Smith (wheelwright), Charles and Margaret Mischke (umbrella repairman), and John and Florence Lecroy (flagman).

The Isaac Maund House, 1608 3rd Avenue, is a stop of the Black Heritage Trail. It was built in 1890 as a Folk Victorian Gabled Ell Cottage. This home was one of the more elaborate smaller cottages in the neighborhood. It was built by its owner, Isaac Maund. Isaac was a Black mill worker at the Eagle & Phenix Mill. He would later work as a carpenter. It is pictured below on the left. All of these homes were demolished over the past thirty years.


A second Methodist church was formed in Columbus in 1858 with the Rev. Dr. Lovick Pierce as St. Paul’s first pastor. The first brick-and-mortar St. Paul United Methodist Church was completed in 1859 on the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Thirteenth Street in downtown Columbus. This new structure would be built on the same site in 1902 replacing the earlier building that had burned. As downtown Columbus underwent a commercial development period in the mid-twentieth century, St. Paul decided to move its church closer to where its congregants were living. The congregation remained here until they moved to Wildwood Avenue in 1952. This structure was demolished in 1959 for the S&S Cafeteria building.

Next Week: We will continue the stories of Lost Columbus! Featured will be the 9th Street Branch YMCA, the Colored Army and Navy YMCA/USO, the residences of upper Broadway, the Mott House, and Temple B'nai Israel.

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Bevelyn Blair
Bevelyn Blair
17 mar 2022

Thank you for sharing all of the pictures and historic information about Columbus! I have lived here all of my life and find this so interesting and fascinating. A book about the lives of people living back then would also be interesting.

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