Historic Savannah Foundation Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Savannah’s National Landmark District Designation

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Friday, May 6th, 2016

As part of its annual Preservation Festival, Historic Savannah Foundation, a leading preservation organization committed to preserving and protecting Savannah’s heritage, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the designation of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District yesterday with a “re-ribbon” cutting. Elected officials and representatives from the National Park Service, City of Savannah, Chatham County, MPC, Visit Savannah, SCAD, and Savannah Technical College joined HSF for the celebration.

“Today we’re honoring Savannah’s city plan and the overlay of great architecture that, together, form one of the largest historic districts in the United States,” said Daniel Carey, president and CEO of Historic Savannah Foundation. “It remains as viable and effective today as it was during its inception.”

In 1966, the Savannah Historic District was declared a National Historic Landmark District due to its unique layout begun by General James Oglethorpe that now extends from the Savannah River to Gwinnett Street, and East Broad Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Oglethorpe’s plan began with six wards; at the center of each ward was a public square, flanked on the east and west by trust lots designated for public buildings, and 60′ x 90′ lots on the north and south sides. Recognizing the brilliance of this plan, city fathers implemented it in the southward expansion of the 1800s, ultimately creating 24 squares from the Savannah River to Gaston Street.