The America Trust and Bank Building, now The Drayton Hotel, is a historic, five-story building in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District. The existing building housed a restaurant at the ground level and office space on the upper levels. While the building appears to be a standalone structure, it was originally two separated three-story buildings and was combined into a single structure in the 1930s. The building has gone through several major renovations since that time and unfortunately much of the original historic material and details had been removed from the building prior to the current project.
Designed in conjunction with Lynch Associates Architects and Nema Interior Design Group, the restored historic structure provides a warm, inviting atmosphere that accommodates 42 hotel rooms, a full-service restaurant, a basement lounge, and rooftop bar. The building had been completely gutted on the interior by the previous building owner and the exterior window sashes had been removed in their entirety. However, the design team worked to restore the exterior of the building to its original character. The existing window frames were restored and new sashes were installed to match the exact original window details. The ground floor openings were restored to their original configuration and the fifth-floor cornice, which had been destroyed in Hurricane Matthew, was replaced to match the exact original profile. On the interior, all existing heart-pine flooring and beams that had been removed in the previous demolition were salvaged for reuse in the new building. The material was milled into floor and casework material that is showcased throughout the building. While no existing original finishes were left in the building to restore, the design team selected new interior fixtures and finishes that were more appropriate to the building’s period of significance, while still discernibly modern to the building.