The Augusta University Building on Broad Street has been undergoing extensive renovations over the past few years, due in large part to Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, which took over management of the Pinnacle Club in 2018.
The private dinner club, located on the top two floors of the building, has been in operation since September of 1967.
According to the Pinnacle Club’s website, William Morris III established the club to conduct the town’s professional business and social affairs, a place “that was private, with excellent food, great ambiance, superb service, and had a commanding view.”
As a part of the reimagining of the seventeen story tower is the addition of a new balcony bar, Edgar’s Above Broad, which will also serve as a dining area and event space.
You may have seen the aluminum Airstream camper, which will serve as the bar, glistening in the sun after being hoisted up to the third floor terrace earlier this month.
According to a 2011 article in the Metro Spirit, the owner of the Lamar Building in the early 1970’s, State Senator Eugene Holley, would send his helicopter to the Pinnacle Club to pick up take out.
“Always a showman, Holley would often impress guests by ordering meals from the neighboring Pinnacle Club and then sending his helicopter to pick them up.”
When the 170,000-square-foot Georgia Railroad Bank Building (as the AU Building was originally known) opened in 1967, it was the tallest building in Augusta-until Holley added the penthouse to the top of the Lamar in 1975, reclaiming the tallest building honor.
Oddly enough, later in the 1970’s Holley was sentenced to 16 months in prison for bank fraud.
The AU Building, which features 1,600 bronze-tinted double-paned windows, is now owned by the Morris family’s Azalea Investments LLC. The real estate investment company is owned by family members of former Augusta Chronicle owner Billy Morris and run by Derek May, former president of the Morris Publishing Group.
A recent removal of the trees surrounding the building, which had been found to be in ill health, has opened up the street and afforded views of the building not seen in decades.
Much of downtown would benefit from the trimming of the elm trees lining Broad Street, which drop enormous amounts of leaves and debris and block the view of the historic storefronts and buildings.
As for Azalea Investment LLC, the company has almost completed work shoring up 870 Reynolds Street, the long brick warehouse bordering the Augusta Common. Workers have installed a steel frame to secure the brick walls, which means the fencing will soon be down while the company explores their options for the building.