Good News: Trying to preserve Cuyler Brownsville’s history

Good News: Trying to preserve Cuyler Brownsville’s history

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The history of one Savannah neighborhood is being preserved with the help of the city’s leaders in preservation.

"This part of the community was laid out by slaves after the Civil War,’’ Historic Savannah Foundation Membership and Volunteer Coordinator, Chassidy Malloy says of the Cuyler Brownsville District. “So, when they were making their great migration from the rural communities into the urban settings, this was established as that African-American community.

HSF filled in the financial gaps to help Cuyler Brownsville be re-surveyed with the purpose of maintaining its historic designation that is now 20 years old, and is threatened because of changes in the neighborhood.

"Over those 20 years, there’s been we believe over 100 structures that have been demolished,’’ said HSF Historic Properties Coordinator, Ryan Arvay. “So, the loss of that much fabric can put the designation in jeopardy.’’

The Metropolitan Planning Commission secured a grant for part of the re-surveying, and Historic Savannah paid the balance, because the organization believes historic designation is more than words on a document.

"I think those designations instill pride in a community,’’ Malloy said, “especially one that has such a unique history like Cuyler Brownsville.’’

"Cuyler Brownsville is one of Savannah’s great historic neighborhoods,’’ Arvay said. “Not just because of the architectural stock, the building stock, the variety of housing styles that are here, but also the history of the neighborhood itself, and its people.’’

It is those residents who will benefit from the collaboration of agencies aiming to save history that exists outside of Savannah’s Historic District.

"There are hundreds of contributing structures in this district,’’ Malloy said. “We want to make sure that those structures are being maintained and being preserved because they are so significant to why this area was able to achieve both local and national historic designation.’’

With this re-surveying, Cuyler Brownsville will actually grow, because it will include hundreds of properties that were not included in the original survey that led to the neighborhood receiving its historic designation in 1999.

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