Trustees' Garden then...
Trustees' Garden now.
In the late 1800s, a manufactured gas plant lit the streets and heated the homes of Savannah. The plant has long since closed, it's going to take a lengthy cleanup before the site is renovated.
People in Savannah are getting a look at renovation plans for Trustees' Garden, located near the intersection of East Broad and Broughton Streets. Most of the buildings are gone from the ten-acre piece of land in Savannah's Historic District. Now plans are in the works to turn it into something new.
Property developer Art Berger told us, "I think there's going to be some magnificent condos developed here, to the tune of about 120."
Berger is working to buy the property from the Atlanta Gas Light Company, and, working with Savannah's Historic Foundation, he already has plans for it.
"I think you'll see behind me a residence inn for long-term stay," he said. "I think you'll see a garden that's a replica of the Trustees' Garden and a lovely food court."
The cleanup is extensive, and dangerous. Last year, one of the buildings collapsed, pinning a worker in the rubble. But the fragile buildings aren't the only issues with turning this area into a tourist location. Because this is a former gas plant that operated on coal, you may notice a tar-like smell once construction begins, but officials say it's not dangerous.
"We'll be monitoring for organic chemicals, odors and dust and noise," said Jim Oosterhoudt, the project director.
The Pirate's House restaurant will be shut down during the first phase of construction. It will re-open in early November. The cleanup is expected to be complete in about six months.