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Step Back in Time: Touring Antebellum Houses in Savannah

February 4, 2024

Embark on a journey through the heart of Savannah’s historic district, where the grandiose Southern architecture tells a story as rich as the city itself. You’ll discover a bevy of historic homes in Savannah, each nestled beneath graceful canopies of Spanish moss, beckoning you to explore their timeless beauty and share in their deep-rooted tales. These Antebellum mansions, with their elaborate facades and stately columns, stand as proud testaments to a bygone era, offering a glimpse into the opulence and layered history of the Old South.

Key Takeaways

  • Experience the enchanting allure of Savannah’s historic district, showcasing the elegance of the Antebellum period.
  • Explore the architectural marvels and Southern hospitality that define the historic homes in Savannah.
  • Step through the doors of history to witness the grandeur of Savannah’s well-preserved Southern architecture.
  • Uncover the narratives etched into every cornerstone and balcony of Savannah’s Antebellum houses.
  • Connect personally with the city’s heritage by touring the majestic mansions that have stood the test of time.

Embarking on a Historical Journey Through Savannah’s Antebellum Era

As you consider visiting antebellum homes in Savannah, prepare for an enchanting voyage through time. The city’s streets are lined with a splendid variety of Antebellum Houses in Savannah, each narrating a different chapter of the storied Savannah architectural history. These homes represent a period when Southern elegance was meticulously encapsulated in architecture and design, leaving behind treasures for future generations to cherish and learn from.

  • The Owens-Thomas House stands as a beacon of English Regency architecture, complete with a verdant plaza and a captivating house museum.
  • The Mercer-Williams House transports you to the Italianate lavishness with its eloquent cast iron embellishments.
  • The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace allows you to experience the roots of the Girl Scouts paired with the charm of antebellum design.

Each visit to these homes offers an immersive experience, where furniture, art, and the very walls tell the tale of a bygone era bursting with culture, challenges, and sophistication. So take a step back into the 19th century and walk the halls once traversed by historical figures and everyday people of the Old South. This is your chance to experience living history and appreciate the craftsmanship and grandeur that has been preserved through Savannah’s commitment to its past.

Exploring the Mercer House’s Italianate Grandeur

Mercer House Italianate Architecture

When you embark on one of the most captivating Savannah antebellum tours, the Mercer House stands out as a crown jewel of Southern architecture. Its Italianate style, predominant in the historic district of Savannah, leaves a lasting impression with its stately presence and exquisite attention to period detail.

Built for General Hugh W. Mercer by the gifted architect John S. Norris in the late nineteenth century, the Mercer House majestically occupies its space with a distinctive four-story tower and expansive balconies that overlook the charming streets. The grandiose entrance hall ushers you into a world where history and opulence dance in harmony, preserved through meticulous restoration efforts.

In your exploration, immerse yourself in the home’s storied past, including its rejuvenation under Jim Williams in 1969 and its rise to fame as the backdrop for both the book and film adaptation of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” This house not only witnessed history—it became a part of it.

  • Marvel at the ornate antique furnishings that exude the elegance of a bygone era
  • Appreciate the intricate carvings and craftsmanship embedded in the home’s design
  • Discover the narratives that weave through the Mercer House, bringing to light personalities and events that shaped Savannah

Your journey through the Mercer House is not merely a tour; it’s an invitation to traverse time and experience the grandeur of Savannah’s cherished heritage. Fulfill your curiosity and let yourself be transported into a different epoch, where every corner tells a story, making the Mercer House a key destination for anyone looking to discover the essence of Savannah’s antebellum allure.

The Davenport House: A Triumph of Preservation

As you meander through the cobbled streets of Savannah, you will come upon the acclaimed Davenport House, a beacon of historic preservation. This Federal-style dwelling captures the essence of early 19th-century architecture, giving visitors like you a window into a bygone era. A near victim of urban development, this treasured landmark was rescued and meticulously restored by the tenacious efforts of the Historic Savannah Foundation.

Revered amongst preserved historical homes, Davenport House’s restoration was a pivotal event that spawned the historical preservation movement in Savannah. Today, it stands proudly, inviting you to discover its period-accurate interiors, which feature an array of authentic nineteenth-century fixtures. Let’s unravel what you can expect when you visit this emblem of Savannah’s commitment to heritage conservation.

  • Explore the halls and chambers, each adorned with original furnishings that mirror the house’s first inventory.
  • Stand in the elegant parlor where countless visitors before you have been enchanted by the authentic décor, from ornate carpets to historically accurate wallpaper motifs.
  • Gain insights into the daily lives of the Davenport family, with docent-led tours providing stories that bring the past vividly to life.
  • Witness conservation in action, as the Davenport House continuously serves as a living lab for preservation techniques.

Your visit to the Davenport House is more than a tour; it’s an immersive educational experience that showcases the tangible efforts of historic preservation. This house is not just an artifact; it is an active participant in the story of Savannah, witnessing the unfolding narrative of a city that champions its architectural and cultural heritage. By walking through this museum, you bear witness to the importance of preserving our collective history—one home at a time.

A Glimpse of Gothic Revival in the Green-Meldrim House

As you wander through the heart of Savannah’s historic district, the Green-Meldrim House, a crown jewel among Savannah landmarks, beckons with its ornate Gothic Revival architecture. This architectural masterpiece, designed by the acclaimed John S. Norris, stands proudly in the shade of aged oaks in Madison Square.

The Green-Meldrim House is more than an architectural marvel—it’s a vessel of history. Its storied walls have borne witness to both the elegance of antebellum society and the tumult of the Civil War.

  • Admire the intricate Gothic Revival style featuring pointed arches and elegant ironwork.
  • Discover the historical significance as the house once served as General William T. Sherman’s headquarters.
  • Step inside to view the opulent interior, resplendent with original adornments and enchanting stained glass.

Ensure your visit to Savannah includes a tour of this remarkable mansion, where history and beauty are intertwined in every brick and pane of glass. Here, at the Green-Meldrim House, the spirit of the past is palpable, allowing you to touch the fabric of a bygone era.

Your immersion into historical grandeur is not complete without experiencing the brilliance of this home’s Gothic Revival grandeur. Take a moment in the verdant gardens, reflecting on the narratives that these grounds have silently observed. The Green-Meldrim House is not just a stop on your tour; it’s an unforgettable encounter with Savannah’s illustrious past.

The Gingerbread House: Savoring Savannah’s Steamboat Gothic Charm

As you meander through the enchanting streets of Savannah, you’re bound to be captivated by the unique allure of the Gingerbread House. Known officially as The Asendorf House, this iconic structure is a crowning example of the Steamboat Gothic style, a design that became celebrated along the Mississippi River in the late 19th century and found a cherished place amongst Savannah historical homes.

With its fanciful woodwork and ornamental flair, the Gingerbread House appears as if plucked from a storybook. Constructed in the heart of Savannah’s Victorian District in 1899, this historic abode was erected for the modest sum of $3000, a testament to the economical yet lavish spirit of the era.

  • The house is immediately recognizable by its intricate “gingerbread” trimmings crowning the exterior, a feature that has enchanted visitors and locals alike for generations.

  • Though it may not be open for public tours, the property opens its doors for various events throughout the year, granting guests a rare glimpse into its interior splendor and allowing a deeper appreciation for the meticulous craftsmanship of the past.

  • The Gingerbread House continues to be a touchstone of the community, echoing the historical significance of Savannah’s architectural diversity.

While the allure of Steamboat Gothic style may not be as prevalent as some other historical forms, its presence in Savannah, as demonstrated by the Gingerbread House, ensures that this whimsical style maintains an indelible mark on the city’s architectural tour de force.

Haunting Elegance at the Sorrel-Weed House

Sorrel-Weed House

Discover the striking blend of grandeur and ghostly whispers at the Sorrel-Weed House. As you walk through this historic mansion, bear witness to the opulence of Greek Revival architecture and the chilling allure of one of the most famous haunted houses in the South.

Constructed in 1839 for Francis Sorrel, the estate’s design immediately demands attention, capturing the essence of an era when fine details and robust columns were the epitomes of high society. The Sorrel-Weed House opens its formidable doors to those curious about its storied past and its otherworldly present.

Throughout the years, the lore of the house has grown. It’s been host to elegant social gatherings and the lives of notable figures such as General Sherman and General Lee. Yet, beneath the surface lies a darker history tied to the Antebellum South and tales that continue to invite speculation and paranormal inquiry.

  • Stand beneath the intricately detailed ceiling medallions and imagine the echoes of the past.
  • Feel the weight of history in the expansive rooms, where stories of hauntings persist.
  • Consider the complexities of the Sorrel family and the legacy that transcends time.

As you meander through the house, let your imagination explore the possibilities of what might have transpired within these walls, and perhaps, what might still linger.

The Harper Fowlkes House: A Grand Greek Revival Marvel

As you wander near Savannah’s Orleans Square, you’ll find yourself drawn to the Harper Fowlkes House, a pristine example of Greek Revival architecture. This historic gem has a fascinating lineage, beginning with its original owner, shipping magnate Stephen Gardner, and later becoming the treasured residence of Alida Harper Fowlkes. Alida, whose keen eye for preservation led her to purchase the property at auction in 1939 for $9,000, is largely credited for the home’s beautifully maintained state.

Today, the Harper Fowlkes House stands as both a monument to the past and a vital part of the present, serving as the headquarters for the esteemed Georgia Society of the Cincinnati. You’re invited to step through its stately doors on a historic homes tour that will transport you to an era of elegance. Within its walls, you’ll experience a world where the charm of Greek Revival architecture is immortalized through grand columns, intricate friezes, and ornate decor.

  • Marvel at the house’s symmetrical proportions, a hallmark of Greek Revival design.
  • Behold the sumptuous interiors, where period furniture and fixtures tell the story of past splendor.
  • Step into the lush gardens, a serene retreat echoing the greenery of bygone plantation estates.

Whether you’re an avid historian, architecture enthusiast, or simply in search of Savannah’s rich cultural offerings, the Harper Fowlkes House is a must-visit destination. Here, you’ll gain insight into the lifestyle of the Southern elite and discover why this historic homes tour is considered a jewel in Savannah’s architectural crown.

The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace: Celebrating the Girl Scouts’ History

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

When you set foot into the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, you’re not merely entering one of the many historic Southern homes; you’re stepping into the heart of the Girl Scouts of the USA. This beautifully preserved home in the charming city of Savannah has a rich history that extends far beyond its aesthetic appeal.

Built in the early 19th century, the birthplace has since been transformed into an immersive museum that encapsulates the spirit of the organization’s venerable founder. Here, you can witness how Juliette Gordon Low’s vision unfolded into the thriving global community it is today, and how her legacy has impacted generations of girls and young women.

  • Discover the childhood world of Juliette Gordon Low through authentic furnishings and personal artifacts on display.
  • Explore the historical exhibits that tell the story of the Girls Scouts’ growth and evolution.
  • Participate in programs that echo the Girl Scouts’ dedication to leadership, development, and community service.

By touring this National Historic Landmark, you’ll gain a deep appreciation not just for the organization’s past, but also for its ongoing commitment to empowerment and the betterment of society. The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace stands as a beacon of inspiration, showcasing the profound influence one woman’s dream can have on the world.

A Revolutionary Design: Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters

As you explore Savannah’s historical sites, you’ll find the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters not only a fine example of English Regency architecture but also a beacon of cultural storytelling. Built in the early 19th century, this architectural masterpiece has withstood the passage of time, inviting you to uncover the juxtaposition of opulence and hardship within its walls.

Architect William Jay’s vision materialized in the form of the Owens-Thomas House in 1819, revolutionizing the architectural landscape of Savannah. As you walk through the house, you’ll be captivated by its advanced design features, including one of the earliest systems of indoor plumbing in America, evidence of the sophistication that belied the era.

Yet, the historical narrative remains incomplete without acknowledging those who dwelled in the Slave Quarters. The inclusion of this sobering aspect within the tour reflects a commitment to a truthful recounting of the period, capturing the full spectrum of experiences from those times.

  • Discover the intricate details of the English Regency design that distinguishes the house from other Savannah landmarks.
  • Examine the technological innovations ahead of its time, shedding light on a forward-thinking approach in urban domestic architecture.
  • Engage with the compelling history encapsulated within the Slave Quarters, offering a nuanced perspective on the past residents’ everyday lives.

Your visit to the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters is more than just a historical detour; it’s an integration into the fabric of Savannah’s rich narrative, allowing you to appreciate the complexities and triumphs of an era gone by.

Antebellum Houses in Savannah: Pinnacles of Preservation and Southern Charm

Antebellum Houses in Savannah

Embarking on Savannah antebellum tours, you’ll encounter the pinnacle of the South’s historical preservation, enveloped in the authentic Southern charm for which the region is renowned. The Antebellum Houses in Savannah stand as stoic landmarks, each telling its own story of a time rich in elegance and complexity. These majestic mansions and charming dwellings collectively offer a narrative that is as intricate as the ornate ironwork that graces their façades.

As you consider visiting antebellum homes, you are not simply walking through old structures—you are stepping into living pieces of history where every corridor, parlor, and staircase has a tale to tell. Here, history is not confined to textbooks; it resonates through the walls, waiting to impart valuable insights into a bygone era to all who choose to listen.

  • The grand mansions serve as a testament to opulence and architectural innovation.
  • Quaint residences showcase a more personal side of Savannah’s history.
  • Each tour provides a unique perspective on the cultural and social heritage of the Antebellum South.

To truly grasp the splendor and storied past of Savannah, a tour of these historic homes is indispensable, making it a key highlight for any visitor. Whether you’re a history buff, architecture enthusiast, or simply captivated by the beauty of Savannah, the experience of bearing witness to these exquisite examples of Antebellum architecture is both profound and unforgettable.

Designing Your Itinerary for Visiting Antebellum Homes

As you embark on your exploration of the rich Savannah architectural history, crafting a thoughtfully planned itinerary is crucial. To truly appreciate the grandeur of Savannah landmarks, you must immerse yourself in an experience that transcends time, weaving through the storied streets and antebellum homes that define the city’s character.

Imagine starting your journey by witnessing the dawn gently illuminating the facades of these historical treasures, each telling its own narrative of Southern life. From the intricate wrought iron railings to the sweeping front porches, your adventure through these living museums promises to be as educational as it is unforgettable.

  1. Begin with a leisurely walking tour of the Savannah’s historic district, where every corner offers a snapshot of the past.
  2. Next, marvel at the architectural mastery of the Mercer House and the timeless elegance of the Italianate design.
  3. Pause to contemplate the significance of heritage at the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, a site layered with historical revelations.
  4. Don’t miss the charm of the Green-Meldrim House, a remarkable example of Gothic Revival nestled in Madison Square.

After a day steeped in history and admiration for the antebellum era, ensure your relaxation is equally as splendid. Turn to Savannah Lakes RV Resort for a serene escape. Nestled near Hardeeville, SC, the resort offers the serenity you need to reflect on your day’s experiences, all while staying in proximity to Savannah’s historical wonders.

  • Enjoy modern amenities that bring comfort to your historical getaway.
  • Unwind alongside nature, embracing the Southern charm that extends beyond city limits.
  • Ready yourself for another day of awe-inspiring discoveries within Savannah’s architectural landscape.

So, prepare your senses for a sojourn that is as much about the journey as it is about the destinations, and leave no cobblestone unturned in your quest to experience the essence of Savannah’s illustrious past.

Conclusion

Embarking on a visit to Savannah’s preserved historical homes offers a profound connection to the cultural and architectural legacy of the Old South. These Antebellum Houses in Savannah are not simply relics to be viewed from a distance; rather, they are vibrant embodiments of Savannah architectural history, rich with the narratives of those who shaped and were shaped by these spaces. Your journey through these enduring homes allows you to touch a piece of history, to feel the craftsmanship of antebellum artisans, and to understand the complexities of a world that has laid the foundations for the city you see today.

In these halls and parlors, you witness a reflection of both grandeur and the profound socio-economic dynamics of the era they represent. The Antebellum homes stand as silent narrators, recounting stories of prosperity, hardship, and evolutionary design. As you tread through their rooms, across creaking hardwood floors, and under the watchful gaze of stately columns, you grasp an intimate glimpse of the saga that is tightly woven into the fabric of Savannah.

The tour of these historical treasure troves is indispensable to appreciating the allure and significance Savannah holds. Each visit to an Antebellum house is an act of preservation itself, a chance to sustain the legacy and ensure the tales etched into their walls echo on for future generations. And so, as you leave behind the imposing facades and the whispering shadows of the antebellum era, you carry with you a piece of Savannah’s soul—an experience that resonates with the immutable charm and profound historic significance of this timeless Southern jewel.

FAQ

What is the architectural style of the Mercer House?

The Mercer House is an excellent example of Italianate architecture within Savannah’s historic district. The home showcases a four-story tower, spacious balconies, and a grand entrance hall, typical of the Italianate grandeur.

Can the public tour the Davenport House?

Yes, the public can tour the Davenport House. It operates as a museum that allows visitors to explore its meticulously restored Federal-style interior and learn about historic preservation efforts.

What significance does the Green-Meldrim House have?

The Green-Meldrim House is significant for its Gothic Revival style and its historical role during the Civil War, serving as General William T. Sherman’s headquarters. Today, it is a treasured landmark in Savannah’s Madison Square, open for guided tours.

Are there tours available for the Gingerbread House in Savannah?

While the Gingerbread House does not offer regular public tours, it hosts events throughout the year that allow visitors to marvel at its Steamboat Gothic style and ornate “gingerbread” trimmings.

What is the history behind the Sorrel-Weed House?

The Sorrel-Weed House, with its Greek Revival architecture, has a dramatic history that includes a connection to the slave trade and reports of paranormal activity. Named for the prominent Sorrel family, it also hosted notable figures like General Sherman and General Lee. It is now a museum that offers visitors insight into its haunting elegance and complex past.

What makes the Harper Fowlkes House unique?

The Harper Fowlkes House is a classic example of Greek Revival architecture and is unique for its well-preserved interior and history. Now serving as the headquarters for the Georgia Society of the Cincinnati, the house offers tours that showcase its rich architectural features.

How is the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace connected to the Girl Scouts?

The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is the childhood home of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA. It is a National Historic Landmark that honors her life and the organization’s history, with tours available for visitors to experience the home’s significance.

What architectural features are distinct about the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters?

The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters are known for their English Regency architecture and early 19th-century technological innovations, including one of America’s first indoor plumbing systems. The addition of the Slave Quarters to the tour experience provides a fuller understanding of the property’s historical context.

Why should visitors include Antebellum houses in their Savannah itinerary?

Including Antebellum houses in a Savannah itinerary is essential for experiencing the city’s rich history and Southern charm. These well-preserved historic homes provide a deep dive into the life and architecture of the Old South, each offering a unique story and aesthetic to appreciate.

Where can visitors stay near the historic homes in Savannah?

Visitors can choose accommodations like Savannah Lakes RV Resort in Hardeeville, SC, conveniently located near Savannah’s historic homes. This provides a comfortable retreat within close proximity to the Antebellum houses and other landmarks.

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