I joke and say I’m going back to college while visiting Katy in Savannah. In truth I did do a great deal of online study about this fabulous city. I drove around and studied the architecture of some of the most wonderful homes I have ever seen. Savannah is a haven of architecture gems, they are everywhere, in ever direction and on every street. I will show you some of my favorites with a little history behind each:
The Owens-Thomas Home is one of the finest examples of Regency Architecture in America designed by William Jay who was an English Architect from Bath. Originally this home was known as the Richardson House after the first owner, a Cotton Merchant and Banker from New Orleans. Mrs. Richardson was closely tied to William Jay by marriage. William Jay, the architect, moved to Savannah around 1817 to design and build the Richardson home. He lived in Savannah for four years until the Georgia economy collapsed in 1822 then returned to England. William Jay designed many of homes and buildings Savannah and was highly thought of as an architect. It is said that the Owens-Thomas home has a long history of tragedies and might be one of the most restless homes in Savannah.
Master builder Isaiah Davenport, a native of New England, built and owned this American Federal-style home on Columbia Square. Sarah Clark Davenport converted the home into a boarding house in 1827. It is the oldest brick structure in the city and it remained in their family for 109 years. The home was saved from demolition in 1955 because of its architectural significance.
General Hugh Mercer began construction on this Italianate home in 1860 but the construction was interrupted by the civil war. The architect was John S. Norris. Hugh Mercer was the great-grandfather of the songwriter Johnny Mercer. The home was finally completed around 1868 by a new owner. No one in the Mercer family ever lived in the home. This home changed hands several times. Jim Williams restored it to an elegant mansion and it became world famous because of the book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and evil,” with the shooting of Danny Hansford by Jim Williams. The home is currently owned by Dorothy Kingery, Jim Williams’ sister.
Mr. Charles Green, an Englishman who came to Savannah in 1833 and built one of the finest and most lavish Gothic Revival examples in the American South. John S. Norris was the architect. In 1864 Mr. Green invited General Sherman to use the home as his headquarters when the Federal army occupied Savannah during the war. It was at this time that General Sherman sent his famous telegram to President Lincoln offering him the city of Savannah as a Christmas present. St. John’s Church now owns the home to ensure its preservation.
This is the oldest public museum in the South and the first art museum to be founded by a woman, Mary Telfair. It was designed and built by Jay Williams in 1818 in the Regency style by the Telfair family. The museum opened in 1886 and became known as the Telfair Academy. It was declared a National History Landmark in 1976 and is one of a small number of Jay Williams surviving works.
Katy and I have had so much fun times exploring the city and enjoying all many the gastronomic delights we had time to pursue. These scenes below are some of the various restaurant and the coffee shop we loved.
Sean, Namoni, and Katy are all study partners and friends of Katys. We enjoyed a couple of nights together. Architecture school is very intense and time consuming. Katy has class for 5 hours Monday through Thursday then she and Namoni worked the rest of the night until 1, 2 and 3 am almost every night. I went to Mass most mornings, toured the city, searched the internet for the history of Savannah, read my book, worked on my blog, cooked meals and was amazed at how hard Katy worked. Time seemed to fly and tomorrow we leave. I will be so sad to say goodbye to this city but happy I got to live and experience it as more than a tourest.
The churches in Savannah are beautiful. The daily Mass schedule at Sacred Heart and the Cathedral took place at noon so for me it was the perfect time since I stayed up most nights with Katy while she worked on her projects. After Mass I started exploring the city. The Cathedral was my favorite place for Mass!
Katy and I took a Valentine picture at the Ole Pink House. The Ole Pink House was originally the home of James Habersham one of the richest men in Savannah. He owned a cotton plantation and built his home to entertain. He loved big parties and guests and was known as a gentleman who oozed charm. He covered the red bricks of his home with white plaster but the red seeped through no matter how much plaster he piled on making the home look pink. He was mocked in town for his pink house.
Katy and I both love valentine’s Day and are want to wish all of you who read this blog (and) all our friends and family a Happy Valentine Day! We hope your lives will be filled with lots of love and happiness this Valentine Day 2021. Until we meet again in my next Blog, farewell from Savannah!