As you explore our downtown, note the many examples of period architecture that give this area its character. Even though some buildings are getting a facelift, others remain towering testaments to Waycross’ close proximity to Florida and its Spanish Influence. This Spanish Mission style architecture is reflected in stucco finishes, stylized gables, and clay tile roofs.
Start your downtown walking tour at the Historic Rail Depot. Constructed in the early part of the 20th century, prior to World War I, the Spanish Revival-style terminal replaced the previous wooden passenger depot, which was destroyed by fire in a train derailment. Note the Spanish-style gables, brick masonry, and the broad, light colored band of stone that lines the outside. The Depot was partially renovated in 1999 to house the Chamber of Commerce. These are just a few examples of what’s in store when you visit Downtown Waycross.
Two more great examples of period architecture are: the 1907-era Old Elk’s Club Building, which reflects a Spanish/Mediterranean influence with its stucco and brick finish and its clay tile roof, and the right corner of the Kress Building. This section was constructed in 1910 and renovated in 1987 with careful attention to detail, earning a Governor’s Honor Award for outstanding Individual Contribution to the Main Street Program in 1988.
Waycross YMCA (City Hall) on the corner of Isabella and Pendleton Streets is a notably major work of architecture by a prominent architect of the period, in this region of the country. This structure was built c.1907 as a YMCA by H.J. Klutho, who studied under Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. It reflects the end of the Victorian Era and its fascination for lavish decoration while featuring many avant-garde details of the coming Modern Movement. The interplay of light brick areas against darker brick areas and the windows helps to minimize its apparent massiveness. This building successfully addresses many of the architectural factors found in good design. Notice the bronze plate in honor of the 121st Infantry.
Finally, stroll down Tebeau Street where you will see the tile mural wall of the SunTrust Bank building. The large mural features things that are common to the Waycross area, such as crops grown around Ware County and livestock that are raised here as well.
While Here in Waycross
Attractions such as the Okefenokee Swamp Park and Obediah’s Okefenok, give an in-depth look at a one-of-a-kind ecosystem, including the wildlife, plant life, and pioneer life in the area.
Train enthusiasts can catch a glimpse of the train traffic coming in and out of the second largest computerized yard.
For those who love history, there are the Okefenokee Heritage Center and Southern Forest World museums. These are just a few samples of what’s in store when you explore Waycross!