37th@Abercorn Antiques Closing after 20+ Years

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

37th@Abercorn Antiques, a landmark retail shop in Savannah’s historic Thomas Square Streetcar District, has announced plans to close its doors on June 30, 2017. For more than 20 years, the recognizable yellow mansion at the intersection of Abercorn and 37th streets has served as an anchor for the neighborhood, appealing to area treasure hunters, tourists and architectural enthusiasts.

The store, which opened in March 1996, sells estate jewelry, art, silver, linens, collectibles and antiques. Property and business owner Terri O’Neil said that during the 15 years she managed the shop, she built life-long friendships with local patrons and out-of-town visitors.

“We have participated in many home design projects, countless movie productions and internship initiatives with students from SCAD’s interior design department. We have so many loyal visitors who often stop in just to say hi and to see our pet de jour. It’s like we have an extended 37th@A family,” said O’Neil, whose daughter, Stephanie Stroud, now manages the shop.

Thanks to the years of rave reviews, local recommendations and the historic setting, the shop attracted newcomers and converted them into fans.

“Visitors to Savannah are beginning to explore more than just the beautiful Landmark District.  Neighborhoods like the Starland, Victorian and Thomas Square Streetcar historic districts are growing in popularity as more shops, restaurants and tours develop in those areas. Each neighborhood continues to maintain Savannah’s unique authenticity and offer visitors more reasons to extend their stay,” Visit Savannah President Joseph Marinelli said.

37th@Abercorn gained a mascot when O’Neil rescued a homeless kitten eight years ago. Ollie mingles with guests daily and lounges in the wide window sills, basking in the affection that comes his way. O’Neil said she hopes to find a loving new family to adopt Ollie.

As a pet lover and advocate, O’Neil and her staff have rescued more than 10 animals over a 20-year span. She continues to donate retail space and staff support to the Humane Society for Greater Savannah. All of the profits from the humane society’s space are returned to the organization’s spay/neuter clinic.

A passion for architecture and preservation drew O’Neil to the historic site at 37th and Abercorn streets. After acquiring and renovating the property, O’Neil decided an antique and home décor center was well-suited for the Thomas Square Streetcar District.

According to Gilbert & Ezelle Real Estate Services Managing Partner Harvey Gilbert, who has worked extensively in the district, the area hit a turning point when the Savannah College of Art and Design bought and renovated the former Richard Arnold High School property in 2006, opening it for educational use in 2008.

“Then the district really began to bloom about three years ago with the establishment of restaurants like The Florence, The Atlantic, The Vault and Cotton and Rye. The neighborhood also benefits from a variety of institutional anchors, such as other SCAD buildings, established churches, retail and design centers as well as the public library,” said Gilbert, who along with his son, John, are the listing agents for the property.

The historic site features the main house, two-story carriage house and a guest cottage – all totaling 7,802 square feet – on a property parcel comprised of six city lots. The entire package is now for sale, presenting area entrepreneurs, investors and capitalists with a prime opportunity. Its versatile TC-1 zoning specification opens the property up to a wide variety of uses. In fact, according to Gilbert, there are no other properties of the same scale in the Thomas Square Streetcar District that could be used for development and other growth options.

The decision to close 37th@Abercorn Antiques was not an easy one, according to O’Neil. She said it’s time for the legendary historic site to embark on a new adventure, but she’ll be forever grateful for the friends and memories she’s made.

“My role in this special journey has changed, but my contributions to this neighborhood have been rewarding,” O’Neil said, “I’m excited to see how the property will continue to serve Savannah’s residents and visitors for years to come.”