HSF Announces Plans to Celebrate 60th Anniversary at Savannah Preservation Festival

Press release from the issuing company

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Historic Savannah Foundation, a leading preservation organization committed to preserving and protecting Savannah's heritage, is pleased to announce the schedule for the fourth annual Savannah Preservation Festival, which will take place in Savannah May 7-9, 2015. This year’s events and programs will mark HSF’s 60th anniversary: “1955-2015 and the Work Continues.” 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation designates May of each year as “Preservation Month.” HSF’s educational festival will demonstrate what makes Savannah unique. Event programming includes the 2015 HSF Preservation Awards ceremony, a free opening lecture and reception, a home tour and art auction, and the first-ever neighborhood block party in the historic Thomas Square Streetcar District.

“During the 2015 Savannah Preservation Festival, we want to honor HSF’s 60 years of service to this community, as well as celebrate Savannah’s commitment to preservation,” said Daniel Carey, president and CEO of Historic Savannah Foundation. “We invite anyone with an interest in celebrating our city’s history to attend the festival and help us kick off the next 60 years.” 

Here is a quick overview of the 2015 Savannah Preservation Festival schedule:

Preservation Awards Luncheon Sponsored by Keim

Thursday, May 7, 2015

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Savannah Golf Club, 1661 E. President Street

$45 per person    

Each year, Historic Savannah Foundation celebrates the best of preservation by presenting Preservation Awards to individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate outstanding excellence in historic preservation. The award winners will be announced and their projects recognized during HSF’s Preservation Awards Luncheon. 

The Louise Lauretti Lecture: Influential Women in the Savannah Preservation Movement

Thursday, May 7, 2015

6 p.m.

Historic Beach Institute, 502 East Harris Street

Free and open to the public

The founding of Historic Savannah Foundation began with a catalyst – the impending destruction of the Isaiah Davenport House, and a 1820s brick home on Columbia Square in 1955. Through the tenacity of an unlikely band of activists, the “Magnificent Seven Ladies,” the house was saved and the organization founded. Since that time, Savannah has achieved an international reputation for historic preservation and today boasts a billion dollar tourist industry. Join us for this look back, and forward as we hear stories spanning the preservation movement in Savannah as we commemorate the organization’s 60th anniversary year. Reception immediately following.

This event is free and open to the public.

Wine Tasting, Home Tour and Art Auction: Historic Ardsley Park Chatham Crescent Neighborhood Sponsored by United Community Bank

Friday, May 8, 2015

Tour: 6 - 8 p.m.; After Party & Art Auction: 8 - 9 p.m.

Check-in: Guckenheimer Park (Battey at 45th Streets) starts at 5:30 pm

$75 per person

Tour some of Savannah’s finest private homes located in Ardsley Park Chatham Crescent Neighborhood, a Nationally Registered District. The area was first developed in 1910, but most homes were built in the 1930s and 1940s. The area was laid out in grids with squares, similar to the plan used in downtown Savannah by Gen. James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of the colony. At various points in the neighborhood, city blocks were punctuated with one-acre circles named for city and county officials, a crescent-shaped street, and a landscaped mall. Ardsley Park was designed with tree-planting strips, or tree lawns, between the streets and sidewalks, while Chatham Crescent featured large trees planted directly on the front lawns. More than 5,000 trees were planted in Chatham Crescent under the direction of Georges Henri Bignault Sr., a landscape architect trained at the Ecole de Beaux Arts. Sample fine wines paired with gourmet appetizers during this impressive self-guided walking tour in the heart of one of Savannah’s well-loved communities. Wrap-up the tour with our annual Art Auction curated by Cindy Szczecinski of CAS Fine Art Consulting, the art auction showcases some of the region’s top talent and will be displayed in a gracious private home located on prestigious East 45th Street. 

The Block Party: Lincoln Street Initiative Sponsored by DPR Hardin

Saturday, May 9, 2015

11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Lincoln at 32nd Streets

$25 for adults (includes two drink tickets); $10 for students age 17 years and younger

In 2004, HSF announced the Lincoln Street Initiative in the Thomas Square Streetcar Historic District. By combining rehabilitation of historic structures with construction of new buildings for low to moderate income families, the Foundation sought to revitalize the neighborhood, provide new housing and avoid displacement of existing residents. Through this project, HSF facilitated the design and construction of compatible new infill on four vacant lots. In addition, HSF purchased and rehabilitated twelve units of historic housing in this target area. This effort was the catalyst for revitalizing this neighborhood -- sparking investment interest that continues today. In 2013, the last blighted property located at the center of the target area was saved by HSF’s Revolving Fund, bringing the endeavor full circle. This building, the P.J. O’Connor House, is currently undergoing rehabilitation and will be completed just in time for our 2015 Savannah Preservation Festival. This corner property, now literally the cornerstone of this initiative, will fittingly be the highlight and epicenter of our neighborhood Block Party.

HSF intends to create a celebratory atmosphere for families and visitors showcasing how vision, good planning and collaboration can provide sustainable communities. Home sites will be open for visitation, relevant historical storytelling will be staged, interactive demonstrations will be integrated, and students from HSF’s Savannah Chatham County Public School partnership will have Hands on History Program projects on display, including Box City and the annual Pennies for Preservation Poster Contest. Food and beverage will be offered from neighborhood restaurants and live music will fill the air. 

Tickets available at www.myHSF.org.