The Crescent, a landmark home on the National Register of Historic Places, has been a national treasure in Valdosta, Georgia, for more than 100 years. It is one of the most recognized symbol used in publicizing Valdosta and the entire South Georgia region. But originally, the Crescent was a home.
Colonel William Stanley West built the Crescent as his family home in 1898. The magnificent, neoclassical three-story mansion has a monumental two-story crescent-shaped front porch, framed by thirteen massive columns representing the original thirteen original colonies. The 23-room residence became Valdosta’s first to have electric lights, indoor plumbing, and central heating. It has hosted visitors from throughout the United States and the world. Future President Woodrow Wilson even dined with the West family.
Yet, by the middle of the 20th century, the Crescent was one of several local buildings earmarked for demolition. (This was before the historic preservation movement gained local ground in the late 1960s and early 1970s.) At the end of World War II, the local garden club pushed to beautify Valdosta. It was during this era that the Valdosta City Council approved the nickname of “The Azalea City of Georgia.”
In the early 1950s the garden club learned of the potential demolition for the Crescent in the early 1950s. They purchased the Crescent, making Colonel West’s former home a restoration project. It is now the headquarters of all the Garden Clubs in Valdosta. It is beautifully restored and decorated in period style. The dining room alone, with its elegantly decorated ceiling, is worth the visit. It overlooks magnificent lawns and test gardens. There is an octagon-shaped, one-roomed schoolhouse, and a quaint, family chapel. The house, chapel, and gardens are available for weddings and the house is available for all kinds of parties.
A visit to the Crescent is a great way to take a step back in time. The house is a wonderful example of skill and craftsmanship. The dining room alone is worth the visit. The house is owned, restored, and kept up by the Garden Clubs of Valdosta and they do a beautiful job taking care of it and making it the showplace it is. The Crescent, located at 904 N. Paterson Street, is open to the public for tours, Mon – Fri, 2 – 5pm.
Miss Kate’s Tours would like to thank the Garden Clubs of Valdosta for allowing us to use the Crescent’s image in our branding. It is a wonderful symbol of Valdosta and the Deep South.