Spanish Moss, southern comfort food, open containers and beautiful homes. Those few words sum up much of my three day visit to Savannah last weekend.
In 1966 Savannah was designated a National Historic District because of its uniquely preserved city plan and historic buildings. Indeed walking around the hisotric district felt like walking around a movie set. Even the more run down buildings looked like that were artfully run down. It was though the whole down had been masterfully art directed.
Savannah was founded in 1733 and was planned around wards and public squares. Originally the city was begun with six wards and at the center of each ward was a public square. This planning continued and by the 1800′s there were twenty-four squares evenly spaced from the Savannah River to Gaston Street.
Today, the buildings in the historic district are strictly regulated and preserved. Homes can only be painted in historically accurate colors and the structures cannot be changed. Every where you look, you see original iron work, faded painted signs on brick buildings and stunning colonial homes.
The port of Savannah is the 4th busiest container ship terminal in the US and so the river front is pretty industrial. However, it can still make for some beautiful views and there a tourist area with shopping and restaurants on the water front. River boat lunch tours are popular in the season.
At the end of the river walk, there is a statue of Florence Martus, also known as “the waving girl”. As the story goes, she took it upon herself to be the unofficial greeter of all ships that entered and left the port , between 1887 and 1931. She would wave a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night. She passed away in 1943 and this statue was erected in her honor.
The next post will be about more the historical elements of Savannah and the food. Not to be missed : )