Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Savannah Georgia

November 2017 - Savannah Georgia

We walked to City Hall and took the elevator down to the river, what a delightful area to explore. It is full of shops, restaurants and pubs.
This is such a walkable, historic city that we both said we would come back for a few days.


Erected on July 27, 2002, the African-American Monument depicts a family of four embracing after emancipation while chains representing slavery lie at their feet.

The inscription, by poet Maya Angelou, reads:
We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each others excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together. Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy.




James Edward Oglethorpe founded the Georgia Colony, and the town of Savannah, on February 12, 1733 (February 1, 1732 by the Julian calendar used in the British colonies until September 2, 1752). The new Georgia colony was authorized under a grant from George II to a group constituted by Oglethorpe as the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America, or simply the Georgia Trustees.
Bonus - John's foot.


The World War II monument is also known as “The Cracked Earth” monument. The two halves of the globe are split, representing the conflict of a world divided. The monument is lit at night, and inside are the names of all who served from Chatham county, a Purple Heart, and a WWII Victory medal. The monument is located just at the center of River Street, on the west side of the Hyatt tunnel.





The century old buildings, once cotton warehouses, have been converted to antique shops, distinctive boutiques, spectacular galleries, quaint brew pubs, fabulous restaurants, unique nightspots, elegant inns and hotels.

 


The first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, SS Savannah, and America’s first successful iron steamship in commerce, SS John Randolph. Before setting out on her journey, SS Savannah stopped by the Savannah Steamship Company, where she was fitted with an engine and boiler. SS John Randolph, on the other hand, was pre-fabricated in England, but shipped in segments and assembled here. The fountain was erected by The Propeller Club of The Port of Savannah as a tribute to maritime Savannah and to the merchant and naval ships that have proudly carried it name around the world.







The Anchor Monument:
This monument was founded by Margaret Campbell, who organized the Port of Savannah Chapter of the Women’s Propeller Club. it was built in 1976 and dedicated to all merchant seaman lost at sea.








The Waving Girl:
Greeting every ship that comes into the Savannah port is the statue commemorating Florence Martus, the waving girl. Between 1887 and 1931 Florence took it upon herself to be the greeter of all the ships in the harbor, waving them down with a white handkerchief or lantern.





This cauldron was lit by the original Olympic flame from Mt. Olympus at the opening ceremonies on July 20, 1996, and burned throughout the Centennial Olympic Games in Savannah, site of the Olympic Yachting events. Designed by Georgia artist Ivan Bailey, the five fluted columns represent the five Olympic rings, the fluted slice of a classic column symbolizes the Olympic Greek heritage, and the six sails represent the Olympic yachting events.


Factors Row and Factors Walk are located on a bluff just above the River Walk. Factors Row is a unique collection of red brick buildings, formerly a center of commerce for Savannah’s cotton factors, or brokers. 






Factors Row was also home to the original Cotton Exchange, where cotton factors, or brokers, set prices worldwide.





Running from east to west above the river, these vast brick buildings rise two or three stores above the bluff and descend for three or more stories to the river front. The topside contained the offices of the cotton brokers and the building on the lower River Street side were used as warehouses. A series of iron and concrete walkways, known as Factors Walk, connected the buildings to the bluff. Ramps leading from Bay Street down the bluff to River Street are paved with cobblestones, brought as ballast and abandoned on the riverbanks by departing sailing ships.










The original building was built in 1872 when export revenue from cotton was $40 million when Georgia was the leading cotton producer in the country, and Savannah was one of the major cotton seaports on the Atlantic. By the 1880s the area was known as the "Wall Street of the South." Ironically the current building was constructed when cotton was only selling for as little as ten cents a pound. But it was a little insect, the boll weevil, which finally rendered the building obsolete by 1920.

This structure was built in 1886 by William G. Preston, a Boston architect, using a combination of red brick and terra cotta. This is one of only a handful of major buildings constructed over a public street. The building also features gorgeous iron railings in front. Panels in the railing design highlight famous people, including statesmen and writers.




Savannah Chamber of Commerce building was built in ca1914 by architects Mowbray and Uffinger in the Neoclassical Revival style. It was originally home to the Hibernia Bank of Savannah.

The Savannah Chamber of Commerce was established in 1806 by the prominent merchants of 19th century Savannah. It is Georgia’s oldest professional organization and the seventh oldest Chamber in the United States.




Savannah's first U.S. Custom House opened in 1789 on Commerce Row on East Bay Street. The second, opened in 1819 on East Bryan Street, burned in 1837. In 1845 the federal government purchased a site at East Bay and Bull Streets for a third U.S. Custom House.

The building was completed in 1852 and had the U.S. Post Office in the basement, the Customs Service on the first floor, and the federal courts on the second floor.  U.S. control of the building temporarily halted in January 1861 when the Confederate flag was raised above it the day after the Georgia State Convention adopted the Ordinance of Secession. In 1864 General William T. Sherman occupied Savannah and returned control of the building to the Union. In 1889 Colonel John H. Deveaux worked in the building as the first African American U.S. Customs Collector.



John walked up Bull St. to get better photos of City Hall.
City Hall is the first building constructed by the citizens of Savannah expressly and exclusively to serve as the seat of municipal government. Opened on January 2, 1906, it has served continuously in this role since that date. City Hall was preceded on this site by the City Exchange, built in 1799 and razed in 1904. Along with municipal offices, the City Exchange housed the custom house, a post office, and newspaper offices. City Hall was designed by Savannah architect Hyman W. Witcover and built 1904-1905 by the Savannah Contracting Company during the administration of Mayor Herman Myers. It is a Renaissance Revival structure of granite and limestone exterior. The original copper dome was first gold leafed in 1987.




And then we discovered Savannah's squares.
Originally designed with 24 squares, 22 remain. Most of Savannah's squares are named in honor or in memory of a person, persons or historical event, and many contain monuments, markers, memorials, statues, plaques, and other tributes.


Johnson Square was designed in 1733 and named for Robert Johnson, the Royal Governor of South Carolina when Georgia was founded. Johnson Square was the first of Savannah's 24 squares and served as its commercial hub. In the center stands a monument of General Nathanael Greene, a Revolutionary War hero and Savannah patriot.






Wright Square was designed in 1733 and named for Sir James Wright, Georgia's third and last colonial governor. The monument in the square honors William Washington Gordon, an early mayor of Savannah who established the Central of Georgia Railroad. The large boulder marks the grave of Tomochichi, the Yamacraw Indian Chief who welcomed General Oglethorpe and the first colonists.






First opened in 1818, the Savannah Theatre, located on Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia, is one of the United States' oldest continually-operating theatres. Due to multiple fires, the structure has been both a live performance venue and a movie theater.

Over the past two centuries, the Savannah Theatre has showcased an array of talented performers, including Fanny Davenport, E. H. Sothern, Julia Marlowe, Otis Skinner, Oscar Wilde Sarah Bernhardt, W. C. Fields, Tyrone Power, and Lillian Russell. Edwin Booth played several engagements at the Theatre in February 1876, with Shakespearean roles including Hamlet, Iago, and King Lear. It is unknown as to whether or not Edwin's younger brother John Wilkes Booth ever performed at the Savannah Theatre.


Once lost to urban sprawl, Ellis Square was restored thanks to a public/private partnership by the City of Savannah and area developers. The restored square features underground parking, retail centers and hotels. Ellis Square was designed in 1733 and was named in honor of Henry Ellis, the second Royal Governor. It was here that the "Old City Market" was located and merchants sold crops and wares.
Located on the square is the John Herndon “Johnny” Mercer Statue to honor a native Savannahian who wrote the song “Moon River” and nearly 1,400 others, co-founded Capitol Records, Inc. and was founding president of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, nominated for 18 academy awards for best song, of which he won four Oscars.




Click here for the Prohibition Museum website. Unfortunately it was gone 5 PM and it was closed.
As the first city in America to sign an order making alcohol consumption or possession a crime during the period in the early 1900s known as Prohibition, it seems fitting that Savannah should be chosen as home to a museum on the topic.




Designed in 1790 in honor of Benjamin Franklin, who was an agent for Georgia in London, Franklin Square was once known as “Water Tower Square,” because it was home to the city’s water supply in the mid to late 19th century. The square was restored in the late 20th century after the Federal Highway 17 was routed through Savannah, causing dissection of the square.

Now, the middle of the square is graced by the Haitian Monument, which pays tribute to the group of Haitian soldiers who fought for American Independence during the Siege of Savannah in 1779. Sculpture James Mastin created this work, which demonstrates the “Les Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Domingue,” or Freedom Fighters. The boy is 12-year-old Henri Christophe, who became the commander of the Haitian army and King of Haiti.








City Market, just behind our hotel.






3 comments:

  1. What a beautiful city! Amazing architecture, monuments, and statues.

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  2. We hear a lot about the benefits of a walkable city and Savannah looks very walkable. Who would have thought there was such a gem in Georgia.

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  3. Very interesting. We spent a couple of nights in Savannah some years ago, so I remember a lot of these buildings and statues.

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