Words by Paige Townley
Renowned Atlanta-based architect Keith Summerour has completed major commissions all across the United States. While each and every project is certainly award-worthy, some of our very favorite structures can be found right here in the South. Check out our top six Summerour-designed Southern spaces.
A project completed rather early on in Keith’s career, Broadfield Plantation was the very first farm project he took on at the request of Bill Jones III, who at the time was chief executive officer of the Sea Island Company. Located on Cumberland Island in Camden County, Georgia, Broadfield Plantation includes a main house, three guest houses, pool house, and barnes, all nestled perfectly and beautifully into a 10,000-acre pine plantation.
Wesley United Methodist Church, St. Simons Island
Wesley United Methodist Church on St. Simons Island was one of Keith’s first public buildings. He drew inspiration from the boat building techniques found in nearby churches, which included the use of true timber frames made of heart pine. Keith created instant history by using reclaimed heart pine from Georgia sawmills and incorporating an old coastal technique of tabby architecture (sometimes called coastal concrete), which utilizes local dirt, horse hair, and oyster shells to create the exterior walls.
Segee Manor Estate
Located in Highlands, North Carolina, Segee Manor Estate is a 50-acre property situated atop a mountain. In designing the estate, Keith combined the typical mountain style of timber frames, porches, and rustic elements with the traditional English manor style (interior woodwork, moldings and paneling). In fact, Keith even traveled to England to research English manor homes and even consulted Rosemary Verey, an internationally-known garden designer who worked with the Royal Family, on the estate’s border gardens.
A dogtrot-style farmhouse located in Fitzpatrick, Alabama, Beechwood Farm lives big in a small space. The 2,500-square-foot home was the first construction project on the property and was intended to be the 600-acre proeprty’s guest home. The farmhouse instantly became the family’s favorite, so it became the property’s main home.
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is known as a 10,000-acre paradise in Lampe, Missouri—one featuring natural beauty that can only be found in the Ozark Mountains. At the heart of this family destination is a unique Summerour-designed multi-story building that houses a general store and dining room. A fully-enclosed bridge—that goes over Little Indian Creek—connects those spaces with a fully-functioning grist mill. The rugged structure looks like it has all been there as is for decades thanks to thoughtful details Keith was sure to include, such as old wood and lots of stone. In typical Keith fashion, he worked in classical elements where possible. With this project, it was the large Venetian-style windows, which were imported from France.
Maker’s Mark Tasting Room
One of Keith’s most recent projects is the Maker’s Mark Tasting Room for its distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. Sustainability was a big part of the idea behind the room, which is constructed of reclaimed material and is situated on the banks of one of the property’s lakes, which serves as the water source for the distillery.