When Christy Beckham first saw the turn of the century Colonial Revival style house on Greene Street, she knew she was home. But it would be eight months before it would officially be her home.
At the time, Christy and Michael Beckham were looking for another investment property, not a forever home for their growing family. The house at 838 Greene Street had been vacant for several years and was in foreclosure. Pregnant with the couple’s second child, she immediately fell in love with the house.
“I just knew this was the house for our family,” Christy said. “But I have to be honest, it needed a lot of work and our realtor, and everyone else we knew, tried to discourage us from buying the house.”
In 2011, downtown Augusta was not the ideal place for a young family. Largely vagrants and the like populated Greene Street, like most of the surrounding area. Downtown had very few family friendly businesses or restaurants at the time as well. “When we wanted to go out to eat, it was Mellow Mushroom or Pizza Joint. That was it,” Christy said.
The couple bought the house for a steal and to date, have put quite a bit of money into it, but the investment is well worth it.
“We took a big risk and went all in on this house,” she said. “Everyone thought we were crazy. But we love it and have since we saw it.”
Listed on the National Registry of Historic Homes, Robert A. Fleming Jr. built the home in 1899 just two doors down from his mother’s home at 834 Greene Street. Mr. Fleming was in the boot and shoe business. In the 1980s the home underwent a massive renovation and became a bed and breakfast, known as the Oglethorpe Inn. Today the doors to each of the bedrooms have numbers on them.
Admittedly, the Beckhams are continually renovating. In a house this size, there is always something to do. This April they plan to undergo a massive kitchen renovation, which will greatly expand the area and make it much more functional for the family.
“It’s a big house, seven bedroom and nine bathrooms, but I think we’ve managed to make it feel cozy,” Christy said.
As for the area, the couple is glad that they made the investment in their home and downtown when they did. Today, downtown Augusta has a host of restaurants and the streets are alive with people from all walks of life milling around, enjoying the retails shops, museums, theaters, nightlife and so much more. Not to mention all the new businesses that are moving downtown.
“We absolutely love living downtown and can’t imagine our family living anywhere else.”
Home owners: Christy and
Year built: Circa 1899
Square footage: 5,775
Accommodations: 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms and 8 fireplaces
Original carriage house in rear of home
Photo provided by the Beckham family
Article appears in the January 2019 issue of Augusta Magazine.