Savannah: The Homes

The Mercer-Williams House.
The Mercer-Williams House.

I can’t believe it has taken me this long in life to visit Savannah.  For me, it is Disneyland!

My absolute, hands-down, favorite part of Savannah was not the food, shops, or mystery, but rather the lovely old homes.  We stayed in the historic district at the Amethyst Garden Inn, so a walk in any direction was amazing.  Literally, you would think you were viewing the most beautiful home in Savannah until you walked by the next door neighbor’s home.  Then you repeated the process.

A well-maintained store front. Love the color combination!
A well-maintained store front. Love the color combination!

Even the shops on Broughton Street were housed in lovely historic buildings. They weren’t all from the same era, but they showed how well-maintained buildings with unique character can coexist and look beautiful together.

Polanski Park's monument. Each park had its own characteristics.
The Polanski Monument in Monterey Park. Each park has its own characteristics.

Maybe what lends itself to preserving the character of old Savannah are the amazing parks around which the homes were built.  Small squares of tree covered parks serve as a center around which homes and churches were built.  The linear streets are then broken up by having to go around the park.  Thus, a driver’s speed is slowed and the neighborhood gets to enjoy a lovely park.  Originally there were 24 parks, of which 22 still survive.  That alone is pretty amazing.

A lovely iron fence and brick sidewalk.
A lovely iron fence and brick sidewalk.

Small characteristics, such as the brick sidewalks, are still in use.  They are bumpy and tree roots have made them a bit of a walking challenge, but they lend so much to the charm of the area.  Like the small parks that slow down drivers, the brick sidewalks remind you to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the lovely homes.

Close neighbors!
Close neighbors!

As a title agent, I did ponder a few of the sights I saw.  Like homes sharing space with each other.  One such situation required cutting through the rake of the neighbor’s roof to allow for a pipe to be attached to the outside of a building.  Conversely, the oriel window of one house seemed to touch the neighbor’s house.  Hopefully, the neighbors all get along!

Forsyth Park
Forsyth Park features this fantastic fountain on the north end.

Forsyth Park was a particularly amazing, vibrant park highlighted by a large, intricate fountain with an angel at the top and swans and Tritons at the bottom.  Although we were not visiting Savannah during tourist season, we did luck into great weather while we were there.  Maybe it was all locals, but the park was packed with folks having picnics, drinking beer and wine, taking photos of their children, walking their dogs (and Savannahians love their dogs), and enjoying the outdoor space.

We toured a few of the structures including the Mercer-Williams house (epicenter for the book and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), the Andrew Low House, and the Massie School House.  Having read the book and watched the movie when they first came out, Mike and I watched Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil again while we were in Savannah in order to refresh ourselves on the story.

What a group of visionary citizens, including Jim Williams, to recognize the importance of preserving their historic homes and creating an historic district.  As I look around my own town, I worry.  Recently an old Art Deco school was demolished.  Like nails on a chalkboard, it still unsettles me to think of what could have been.  The blame can lie solely on me for not speaking up.

Here are a few more of the gorgeous, intricate and stately homes and churches.  More posts on Savannah to come!

One of the many gorgeous churches in the historic area of Savannah.  Temple Mickve Israel on Monterey Square.
The facade of the Cotton Exchange.
A detail in the area of the Cotton Exchange. Ferns grew from many of the brick surfaces in Savannah.
A colorful private garden.
The Hamilton Turner Inn, built in 1873.
Lovely palladium windows accent this building.
Marble stairs leading to a front door on Jones Street.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
A turret accents this lovely red brick structure.
Every view seemed to provide a lovely scene. This garden gate and intricate balustrade were well maintained.
The details at St. John the Baptist included iron crosses adorning the tops of the fence.
Everywhere you look there are beautiful homes.
This is the most ornate light fixture. It seems to be wearing a crown!
Another lovely specimen! The Andrew Low House.
A streetside column and urn were outside a business.
I loved these steps. Mike said they would be difficult to maintain, but I think it would be worth it!
The Gastonian Inn is a lovely structure.
Beautiful row houses!
Beautiful row houses!
My favorite of all the homes. So stately!
My favorite of all the homes. So stately!

2 thoughts on “Savannah: The Homes

  1. Kayla, loved the tour of Savannah as I will probably never go there, BUT did you realize that several of your pics are sideways. No problem for me I just turned my head, just thought you might want to know.

    1. Hi Jane! The sideways photos drive me crazy! If I fix them to the correct orientation on a computer, then they are sideways on an iPad or mobile phone; and vica versa. I cross my fingers everytime I post that this problem will not occur! Thanks for letting me know.

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