By Andrew Dolan
I recently traveled down to Savannah, Georgia to help a friend relocate and, to be honest, I didn’t expect to love Savannah as much as I did. It’s a quaint, quintessentially southern town that hosts a vast range of architectural styles and a rich history. Of this vast range of architectural styles, you can find homes and buildings of the federal style, Georgian, Gothic revival, Italianate, Regency style, Greek revival, Romanesque revival and even second French empire style.
Romanesque Revival Airbnb
Savannah was established in 1733 and was the first city in Georgia. It has been said that Savannah is America’s first planned city; upon being established, General James Oglethorpe decided to have Savannah laid out in grids inclusive of 24 planted squares. Today, these squares are filled with southern Live Oak trees draped in Spanish moss – a uniquely beautiful and somewhat haunting aesthetic.
Live Oak trees draped in Spanish moss
Savannah’s grid plan
During the American Revolution and the American Civil War, Savannah proved to be a crucial and desirable port city. So desirable that between 1778 and 1782, the British occupied Savannah until it was later reclaimed by American troops. In 1864, the city was spared from General William Sherman’s infamous "March to the Sea." It has been said that Sherman spared the city because it was too beautiful to destroy. He later offered the city to President Lincoln as a "Christmas gift."
Unfortunately, a large part of Savannah’s history revolves around slavery. Savannah was a major entry port for slaves and was also a large exporter of goods made through slave labor. Given Savannah’s climate, the town and surrounding areas became host to several profitable cotton and rice field plantations. The Emancipation Proclamation of 1883 aimed to free all slaves however it wasn’t until December of 1864 that Sherman’s troops liberated Savannah.
Italianate Style Home
"The Gingerbread House"
Home in Federal Style
Today, Savannah has a great food scene. Its cuisine has been heavily influenced by the seven seas spice trade and the past slave trade. If you get the chance to visit, I’d highly recommend the shrimp and grits from Husk Restaurant.