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Historic Downtown Augusta (Broad Street)
Item 6 of 16
The News Building, formerly known as the Herald, was built in April 1917 by the Evans Brother Construction Company. Following the Great Fire of 1916, which brought the downtown district to a decrepit state, a multi-million dollar redevelopment effort proceeded in the year 1917. The Italian Renaissance style building's $115,000 cost of construction was an integral part of the downtown initiative. Eventually, in 1955, the Augusta Chronicle, following the increase in prominence of the company and the subsequent decision to merge the Chronicle and Herald, purchased the building.

Chronicle News Bldg. 1980

Window, Land vehicle, Automotive parking light, Car

Site Comparison 1894-1940

Text, White, Line, Facade

News Bldg. 1966

Window, Neighbourhood, Facade, Classic car

News Bldg. Winter 1973

Horse supplies, Bridle, Halter, Working animal

700 Block Broad Street C. 1950 Herald in background

Monochrome, Chair, Sitting, Black-and-white

An ad in the Augusta Chronicle on 22 February 1917 announce the decided construction company to conduct work on the new Herald Building. Of the sixteen companies who bid on the Herald, four of those were based in Augusta. Of the remaining twelve was a company from Alabama that won the bid at a price of $84,726 (equivalent to $1.7M today,) excluding utilities, electricity, etc. The two local competing companies found it unfair that a team from Birmingham, Alabama won the bid, especially considering the local bids were the least costly. Two days following the announcement of the winner, an ad appeared in the Chronicle to state the grievances of the local firms. In the ad, they proposed the question "Is this not a case of failure to patronize home industry?" Construction commenced Mid-March 1917.

While the building served to house the Augusta Herald office and distribution functions, it also housed several law firms, medical professionals, etc. Most notably, the Red Cross chapter of Augusta held meetings for the World War I relief effort from the fourth floor. Due to the temporary relocation of the organization, the Herald building became a headquarters of sort for the Augusta Red Cross in the early 20th century. On 07 December 1917, and ad in the Chronicle called for "an urgent act of benevolence from the women of the town" in order to effectively come to the aid of allied French Forces.

Following a rise in prevalence of the competing Augusta Chronicle, the two companies agreed to merge in February of 1955, which entailed the purchase of the Herald building by William Morris of the Augusta Chronicle. The merger brought two drastic changes 1) the addition of the Augusta Herald logo beneath that of the Augusta Chronicle, and 2) the renaming of the Herald building to the News Building. The former lasted for approximately forty years, after which the Herald logo was removed altogether from the newspaper. However, the words "Chronicle" and "Herald" can be seen from the facade. The building is currently the headquarters of Morris Communications.

  • Historic Augusta Vertical Files: 700 Block Broad St. 
  • Red Cross. "Important Call For Red Cross Work For Women." Augusta Chronicle, 07 Dec. 1917.
  • Red Cross. "Red Cross Notes." Augusta Chronicle, 18 Nov. 1917.
  • Smith, Dewitt. "Dr. DeWitt Smith." Augusta Chronicle, 17 Jul. 1955.
  • Staff. “Fine New Buildings Under Construction.” Augusta Chronicle, 25 Mar. 1917. 
  • Staff. "The toughest job in town." Augusta Chronicle, 29 Jul. 1956.
Image Sources(Click to expand)

Historic Augusta Vertical Files: 700 Block Broad St.

Historic Augusta Vertical Files: 700 Block Broad St.

Historic Augusta Vertical Files: 700 Block Broad St.

Historic Augusta Vertical Files: 700 Block Broad St.