Silver Bluff’s Historic Preservation Efforts

8 Nov Historical Preservation - Brewery Bar Taproom

Silver Bluff’s Historic Preservation Efforts

Over the past year, we’ve had a lot of fun with the brewery’s design elements—light fixtures, wall accents, paint colors, everything. We take a lot of pride in our location—a historic district set against a unique coastal landscape—and for this reason, creating a sense of place in the taproom has been very important to us. 
Almost every design detail has been selected with the surrounding location in mind, and whenever possible, we’ve tried to use materials that hold meaning or historical significance. It is our hope that no matter where you are sitting in the taproom, the beauty of the Golden Isles will make a subtle impression on you—whether it’s the table under your glass or the walls behind the TVs you are watching. 

These are just a few of our favorite details:

Exposed Brick Walls

Six historic buildings used to stand on the block where the brewery is now located, but four of the six structures collapsed in 2006.  When those buildings collapsed, large chunks of brick wall were left behind, buried in the dirt for almost a decade. 
Before we broke ground on the brewery earlier this year, we collected and salvaged as many of those bricks as we could. Now, as Silver Bluff’s construction is nearing completion, the individual bricks are being meticulously cleaned so that they can be incorporated in the interior decor. Each brick has been individually chiseled so that intact bricks are gently separated from mortar and broken pieces of brick. 
We’ve accumulated several pallets of reusable brick at this point, and depending upon the final amount, these bricks dating back to the late 1800s will accent one or more walls in the taproom at 1325 Newcastle Street.

Ceiling and Wall Accents

The historic building located at 1317 Newcastle Street has remained standing despite the collapse of the other nearby buildings. Stabilization and beautification of this building is occurring in tandem with the new construction, and we’ve been able to salvage a wealth of materials from this building as well. The old beadboard ceilings are one of our favorite materials being used in the modern design.

Beadboard was a common trend in the 1800s, and it was a way to adorn ceilings constructed during this era. Large panels of wood would have long, straight ridges (“beads”) carved into them, and when the pattern was continued across multiple panels, it added simple and elegant visual appeal. 

Although beadboard was a trend during the turn of the century, it has had a resurgence in popularity recently, especially in coastal or cottage decor. Given its historical significance, timeless appeal, and relevance to our area and era, we were excited to discover that pieces were still intact (and reusable) on the ceiling of 1317 Newcastle Street. We have been able to salvage several planks of it during the stabilization process, and these boards will feature prominently in the decor of the new taproom. 

Many of the boards are damaged around the edges, so to use as much of each board as possible, salvageable pieces will be arranged in a herringbone pattern and used as accents along the windows overlooking the beer garden. The herringbone pattern helped us maximize the amount of usable material, but it also had the added benefit of blending a modern design aesthetic with a historic material.

Solid Wood Bar

The bar itself—that is, the long wooden countertop where our patrons will order and enjoy a beer—holds a lot of significance for us as well. At a local residence in Historic Downtown Brunswick, a 300-year-old tree became infested with pine bark beetles several years ago. Because the tree’s root collar had been damaged and it was no longer a living tree, it posed a significant hazard for nearby homes in the event of strong winds. When the tree was removed earlier this year, it was carefully removed as a single unit so it could be used as a contiguous piece of wood for our bar. 

Cocktail Tables

In 2016, Hurricane Matthew was the strongest storm to hit the Golden Isles since the 1950s, and a significant number of oak trees fell during this storm. A local carpenter is repurposing one of these toppled trees into the taproom’s cocktail tables. This particular tree fell near the Jesup Highway, and its diameter is perfect for cocktail tables (approximately three feet). Because its diameter is the ideal size, slices of the tree will be used, and details such as tree rings, borer holes, and frost cracks will be left visible.