Savannah has many historic locations that arouse your fascination and curiosity. Here are the top ten historic sites in Savannah. We recommend that you check it if you’re touring the area, or just looking to learn something new:
#10 Telfair Museum of Art
The oldest art museum in the South, on Telfair square, was once home to the prominent patron of the arts Mary Telfair. Since 1875, the mansion has served as an art museum and academy of art and science offering classes, events, and numerous collections and exhibits.
#9 Tomo-chi-chi Gravesite
The second monument erected in honor of Chief Tomo-chi-chi can be found in Wright Square, just feet away from the original grave mound, which was destroyed to build the Gordon Monument. Visitors can learn about the integral role he played in the founding of Savannah. It is the only memorial built for a Native American by descendants of European settlers.
#8 Factors Walk / Bay Street / River Street
What was once a prominent center of commerce for Savannah is now simply a collection of historic buildings turned into an eclectic array of shops, inns, and restaurants. Tourists often come to the area to relish the old world architecture and cobblestone paved streets while enjoying their evening meal.
#7 Historic Beach Institute
First serving as an educational facility for newly freed slaves, the Beach Institute became a free public school for African-American children in 1875. It now houses an African-American Cultural Center and collection of wood carvings by Ulysses Davis.
#6 Mickve Israel Synagogue
Founded in 1733, this active Jewish Congregation is the third oldest in America. The temple on Monterey Square is the only synagogue in America with Gothic style architecture. Touring is welcomed, but because this is an active temple be aware of services, Jewish and federal holidays, and other events which may take place. A calendar of events is available on their website.
#5 Scarbrough House
This elegant mansion built in 1819 once served as home to William Scarbrough, then the president of the Savannah Steamship Company. It now houses the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, which features ship models, paintings, and maritime antiques. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and offers extra activities for large groups.
#4 Davenport House
Threatened with demolition in the mid 1950’s, the Davenport House was a run-down building with little historical significance. Luckily, the Historic Savannah Foundation secured the building as their first act to preserve Savannah’s historic buildings. All three floors of the home on Columbia Square underwent an authentic restoration in the early 1990’s and are open for public viewing.
#3 Cotton Exchange
The Old Savannah Cotton Exchange building is a remarkable reminder of Savannah’s heyday as the leading cotton seaport on the Atlantic. While the building had not been open for public viewing since it closed in the 1920’s, the Old Savannah Cotton Exchange now homes the Savannah Chamber of Commerce, which invites you to stop by anytime.
#2 Andrew Low House
Another of Savannah’s historic homes, this Italian Villa style home on Lafayette Square offers a rich history of housing prominent historical figures such as William Thackery and Robert E. Lee. Guided tours are available by calling ahead.
#1 Historic Savannah Squares
Perhaps the key focal point of Historic Savannah, these twenty-two remaining squares define the downtown Historic District. As part of the original design of the city, the squares provide Savannah with an unequaled presence of beauty, and offer visitors a look back into the rich history of the city.
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