History and Overview of Downtown Augusta’s Olde Town Neighborhood
The Olde Town Neighborhood is located in Downtown Augusta, between 5th Street and East Boundary, and from the River to the Cemeteries on Watkins Street. Originally known as “pinch gut” the neighborhood was originally built in 1737 as the original neighborhood of Augusta. Almost the entire neighborhood was burned in the great fire of 1916, and most of the buildings date from 1917-1920. Both Broad and Greene had streetcar tracks in between the lanes, which have now become linear parks. The neighborhood has experienced a renewal in the past 10 years as demand for housing close to the urban core, coupled with great infrastructure and amenities has made it downtown’s neighborhood of choice.
One of the things that has made Olde Town so popular is the Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND). Measuring about 4 city blocks by 6 city blocks, the neighborhood is easily walkable in 10 minutes. Almost all the streets in Olde Town have sidewalks, and the median parks contain pet waste stations. The streets are lined with trees, and almost all homes have front porches, and anytime you go out you will run into your neighbors. A short bike ride will take you anywhere in Downtown Augusta and the Medical District.
The buildings in Olde Town represent a wide variety of different styles, from Craftsman to Victorian, and the construction from that era is quite sturdy. The homes are generally built on piers over crawl spaces, balloon framed, with thick framing and structural decking. Many of the homes feature intricate woodwork and columns.
Olde Town is also an incredibly diverse neighborhood—of 991 housing units in 2018, 37% of them are single family homes, 44% are duplex-quadplex, and 19% are in apartment buildings! Typical lots in Olde Town are quite narrow, ranging from 40-80 feet, with an average being 55 feet. This contributes to an amazing diversity of residents, from young people to elderly, black and white, owners and renters, rich and poor.
Olde Town contains a number of wonderful neighborhood amenities. Heritage Academy, a private Christian school located in the Historic Houghton Schoolhouse, is located on Greene Street. The Fox’s Lair, where neighbors gather at the neighborhood pub, is located on Telfair Street. Christ Community Health Services, a community health center providing medical and dental care, provides quality healthcare to the families in Olde Town. The Savannah River is the neighborhood’s northern border, and moments away for kayaking and paddle boarding, with easy access to the marina and boat house.
Olde Town residents enjoy a strong demand for short term rentals. Augusta is the home to the largest Ironman Triathlon in the united states, and Olde Town’s boat house is where the triathletes transition on their bikes. Every year, triathletes fill the neighborhood, and residents line the street to watch the runners come down Broad and Greene Street. Augusta is also home to the world’s premier golf course, and being a straight shot down Broad street to the course, Olde Town owners enjoy hosting golf patrons every April.