Downtown Historic Savannah Real Estate
Historic Savannah Real Estate Perhaps The Most Envied
The Historic District is perhaps Savannah, Georgia's most visited area. Located in the northeastern part of Savannah, the historic district is two hours from Jacksonville, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina, 45 minutes from Hilton Head, and four hours from Atlanta.
Savannah’s rich history is centered on the Historic District, built with an intricate design around park squares. The grid of streets was based on a 1733 plan that today offers a slow and ambling drive through historic Savannah.
Traffic in historic Savannah consists of pedestrians, tour shuttles and carriage horse and buggies. Most locals and owners of historic Savannah real estate allow a bit of extra time to navigate the historic district, as congested street parking and slow traffic is not conducive to being in a rush.
Savannah's Historic District is busy with tours and tour guides. Listen closely and you may hear a guide indulging in a bit of folklore, sharing stories of bloodthirsty pirates infiltrating the city in the early days, abducting innocent citizens to serve as forced crewmembers on their ships.
The Pirate’s House restaurant offers a peek into two entrances of an intricate tunnel, one of many that lie beneath the city of Savannah. Local legend offers that the pirates would inebriate their victims, toss them over a shoulder and carry them away through the tunnel toward their awaiting ships.
The tunnels are also said to have been an escape route for slaves during the Civil War, as well as secret transport for dead victims of the Yellow Fever epidemic. Others say the tunnels were part of a sewer or morgue.
As if tunnels and pirates aren’t interesting enough, owners of historic Savannah real estate enjoy sharing tales of ghosts seen in and around the Historic District. Shops and restaurants capitalize on this, touting books and souvenirs on the subject as well as printing the legends on placemats.
Savannah’s Historic District is the original Savannah, where General James Edward Oglethorpe landed in 1733. Oglethorpe made agreements with the Yamacraw Indians to create a town on Yamacraw Bluff, sixteen miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean on what is now known as the Savannah River. His plan included 24 park-like squares, and 22 of those exist today. Ship ballasts used ages ago still provide the paved surface of areas along River Street.
Jewish, Evangelical Lutherans, German Moravians, Angelicans and Catholic settlers soon began to make their home in this new city, creating a diverse population in its earliest days.
Many notable events have occurred on the grounds of this historic city. British forces seized Savannah in 1778, during the American Revolution. A few years later, in 1793, Eli Whitney perfected the first working cotton gin. In 1864, General William T. Sherman burned his way to the coast of Georgia. Upon seeing Savannah’s beauty, he spared her, citing the decision as a “gift” to President Lincoln. During Reconstruction, Savannah was the destination for thousands of freed slaves, but it wasn’t until 1878 that a public school for black children was established followed by an industrial college for African-Americans in 1890.
In Savannah's Historic District, cobble-stoned streets lead the way with huge live oaks bordering and shading parks. The area is no doubt touristy, but locals and owners of historic Savannah real estate enjoy the lifestyle.
There are several festivals and community activities held throughout the year in Savannah's Historic District. Savannah is the home of the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the nation.
It is in the Historic District of Savannah that the majority of activities for the Savannah Music Festival, the SCAD International Festival, Oktoberfest and the Savannah Film Festival take place. Other events include the NOGS (North of Gaston) Tour of Homes and Gardens, monthly River Street and City Market events and the Jewish and Greek cultural festivals.
The Savannah Music Festival is held for three weeks in the spring, and is one of the largest music festivals in the country. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) hosts the Savannah Film Festival in late October, bringing Hollywood to Savannah each year. In the spring, check out SCAD’s Sidewalk Arts Festival in Forsyth Park, a walkway of often unbelievable artistic talent displayed in chalk and washed away with the first rain.
From March to September, First Saturdays on River Street is a favorite among locals, historic Savannah real estate owners, and tourists alike with arts, crafts, food and entertainment. First Friday fireworks are enjoyed from January through November and a Christmas on the River and lighted boat parade is held on the first Saturday in December.
Savannah's Historic District has an immense number of community attractions and historic sites. Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low was born here, and a museum and activities center for girl scouts is located in this district.
Other famous locals and owners of historic Savannah real estate include Pulitzer Prize winning author Conrad Aiken, author Flannery O’Connor, songwriter Johnny Mercer and most recently, southern cook and television personality Paula Deen. Each has influenced the history and contributed to the prosperity of Savannah, particularly in the tourist trade. Whether or not they were born in the Savannah area or lived in the Historic District, shops offer tribute to their accomplishments by marketing books or items bearing their names and likeness.
The city of Savannah has always been about entertainment, and hosts events such as Broadway Musicals, concerts, ballets, comedy shows and special speakers at the Johnny Mercer Theater, located in the Civic Center.
Shoppers in Savannah's Historic District will find unique shops and boutiques, bookstores, antique dealers, and more. The majority of the stores and shops are independently owned, though a few specialty chain stores can be found here.
Nightlife in the Historic District of Savannah is centered around bars and nightclubs. A dueling piano bar offers a more unique experience, and the occasional live mellow band can be heard in some of the more out of the way clubs. Unexpected delights include live Scottish music, particularly around St. Patrick’s Day.
Golf, tennis, water sports and other recreational opportunities are found outside of the Historic District, but many are within just a few miles. The Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Tournament is held on neighboring Hutcheson Island, just minutes from downtown. There are no movie theatres, bowling alleys or recreational facilities in the Historic District.
Churches and cathedrals dot many corners of the district. St. John the Baptist Cathedral is perhaps the most elaborate and guests are welcome to visit between services. There are seven private Catholic schools in the Savannah area and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has an urban campus that spreads throughout the district. It is SCAD that is often credited for restoration of historical buildings throughout the downtown area.
The city of Savannah employs the Chatham Area Transit (CAT) system as a central busing system.
Savannah Historic District real estate prices are at a premium. Housing prices of historic Savannah real estate vary and rise into the upper $2 million. With hidden gardens and a prosperous area history, available historic Savannah real estate may be in the form of town homes or stately manors. Many feature alley parking, while others have garages and carriage houses.
It is the historic Savannah real estate and public buildings that give the Historic District such charm. Wrought iron gates, tall balconies, second story entries and original architectural detail make this area a photographer’s heaven. //