Savannah City Council passes motion to invest $500,000 in renovations for the Kiah House

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:18 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah City Council voted Thursday to allot up to $500,000 for the renovation and restoration of the historic Kiah house.

It was announced last month that the city had plans to partner with the Historic Savannah Foundation and the new buyer, The Galvan Foundation, to invest and return the condemned home to its original state.

Less than two years ago, the house was on the brink of demolition, that is when the Historic Savannah Foundation decided to step in and purchase the home after there had been talk of potential investors but none of those came together until recently. Now, the Kiah House has not one but three investors all passionate about restoring history that was almost lost.

“This is a tremendous opportunity and I am ready to get the project underway. I’m ready for it to be opened and to be an asset for the community and I am ready for this council to continue to shape the vision of the program of what the Kiah House can be with this partnership,” said City Manager Jay Melder.

A new partnership between the City of Savannah, the Galvan Foundation and the History Savannah Foundation.

The city says that its mission will remain the same as the original Kiah House which was to celebrate and highlight African-American art while housing some of the city’s Historic Archives. They also intend to add affordable housing and build a house inside the garage for working artists.

Unanimously and eagerly, the city council passed the motion to invest up to $500,000 into renovating the house.

“I would like to make a motion to move forward”

“Can I get a second?”




“The day we went into the property and looked at the holes in the walls and the floor but yet you could still feel the presence of Dr. Virginia Kiah and you could tell that there was still something very special here,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

It has not been announced when construction on the Kiah house will begin.