Historic Savannah Foundation celebrates 60 years, looks to future of preservation

Historic Savannah Foundation celebrates 60 years, looks to future of preservation

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Historic Savannah Foundation is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and the preservation organization is sharing its outlook on what lies ahead.

The Historic Savannah Foundation said there are 15 historic districts in the county, and even after so much successful preservation, there is always more to save.

The Historic Savannah Foundation was established in 1955 in order to help save the Davenport House from being torn down. Now 60 years later, through its revolving fund, the preservation organization has been able to save more than 360 buildings.

Moving forward in this anniversary year, the foundation said it is concentrating largely on the lower Whitaker Street area. The foundation has already preserved one building, and it is working to save another.

The president of the organization said saving these buildings makes Savannah what it is today.

“Our identity, this city's identity, is tied to preservation,” said Daniel Carey. “We can never overlook that, and never take that for granted. We have to work each day to preserve and celebrate that heritage, but always keep an eye to the future and bring our past with us.”

The city has approved the demolition of a housing project in the Cuyler-Brownsville neighborhood for the new Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Central Precinct, and it's a project the Historic Savannah Foundation is keeping a close eye on as well because of the historic housing.

While the historic foundation is not happy to hear a portion of the neighborhood is coming down, the hope is a new police station could help save the entire historic neighborhood in the long run.

The City of Savannah has officially purchased the 1.6 acre piece of property at the corner of MLK and 34th and 33rd streets to build a new Central Precinct. The property is currently the site of Meldrim Row, historic housing built in the late 1800s for black workers.

The hope is the new precinct will help get a handle on crime, which in the bigger picture, might help revitalize the entire neighborhood on a larger scale.

"What we need to keep in mind is Cuyler-Brownsville, and if we don't do something to turn around crime in Cuyler-Brownsville, we could lost that whole neighborhood," said Carey. "We're going to lose something, yes. Hopefully this installation of this new police station will help revitalize Cuyler-Brownsville by making people feel more comfortable by living there."

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