National Register Listing

Rabinowitz Building

203--205 W. Eleventh St., Alma, GA

The Rabinowitz Building is significant in the areas of architecture, commerce, and politics/government.

The Rabinowitz Building is significant in architecture as a good example of a commercial, multi-use building built in a small town laid out with the railroad tracks as its central axis and the store on the town's main street. It is especially important for the use of glazed bricks and ornamented metal cornice to enhance its front facade and make an impression quite distinct from similar, common brick, small-town storefronts. This technique appears to have been a specialty of a local builder, Manning Sullivan.

It is significant in commerce for having been built as a multi-use commercial building by William Rabinowitz (1873 - 1935), a Jewish immigrant. The building is part of a residential/commercial complex that included a garage and his residence which were to the rear of the store (both are now gone). He used half of the first floor for his dry goods store, until he moved to Atlanta in 1924 for health and social reasons, and leased out the rest. It thus served a major commercial need for a small, growing town, not only as a dry goods store but for its large, second-story space. Later uses for all three spaces include a church, theatre, dentist office, furniture store in the 1950s, and a garment factory in the 1960s.

The building is significant in politics/government for having had its second floor used as the original county courthouse or courtroom and offices. Bacon County had been carved out of Pierce, Ware, and Appling Counties in 1914 and the Rabinowitz building was used as the courthouse from 1915 until the construction of the present courthouse in 1920. This is similar to the use of a pioneer settler's home for the first courthouse in older counties in Georgia.

Local significance of the building:
Commerce; Politics/government; Architecture

Listed in National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.