Travel back in time, nearly three centuries, to the enchanting city of Savannah. Here, history weaves its magic into the fabric of everyday life, creating a tapestry of legends and allure that captures the imagination. Wander through the streetscapes, marvel at the architectural masterpieces, indulge in the mouthwatering cuisine and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the past and present at four of Savannah’s most popular attractions.
1. City Market
A well-preserved modern-day marvel
Once upon a time, the original City Market at Ellis Square bustled with life, serving as a vibrant hub for food, livestock, and various goods during the colonial era. As time marched on, the Market underwent transformations, enduring fires, the Civil War and the devastating hurricane of 1896, only to fall into neglect as the city’s population and commerce spread elsewhere. But a new chapter began in 2007, when the revitalization of City Market commenced, transforming it into the vibrant public space we know today. Now a thriving pedestrian-only destination, City Market brims with art galleries, restaurants, bars, and specialty retail shops, where live music fills the air almost every night. Thanks to Savannah’s preservation movement, City Market stands proudly as a home to some of the Historic District’s most beloved establishments, with historic storefronts and warehouses spilling into the shaded pedestrian courtyard between the captivating Ellis and Franklin Squares.
2. The Forsyth Park Fountain
A fountain of youthful spirit
Built for the “pleasure of the public,” the Forsyth Park Fountain is a timeless masterpiece that has graced Savannah’s landscape since the 1850s. Crafted by the skilled hands of William Hodgson, this fountain channels the elegance of the iconic Place de la Concorde in Paris. Named after the esteemed John Forsyth, governor, and secretary of state, it was designed after the French ideal of having a central public garden. A beautiful place to congregate and chatter with company. Today, the Forsyth Park fountain has become an absolute darling among locals and visitors alike, its charm irresistible to romantics and photographers. It’s no wonder that this breathtaking landmark has witnessed countless declarations of love, serving as the backdrop for proposals, engagement photo shoots and joyous wedding celebrations.
3. The Lucas Theatre
A shining example of ‘The show must go on’
Celebrating just over 100 years of service, the Lucas Theatre’s story is one of creation, artistic expression, and of course, entertainment. Back in 1921, Arthur Lucas and architect C.K. Howell poured their hearts into designing a theater that would embody the best of Greek Revival, Art Deco, and Neoclassical architecture. For decades, this magnificent venue showcased vaudeville acts and screened beloved films until its closure in 1976. But it was not their final act. In December 2000, the Lucas Theatre rose from its slumber, thanks to the vision of SCAD and the formation of the Lucas Theatre for the Arts. Now, this cultural gem thrives as a hub for a diverse range of community events, boasting top-notch entertainment like opera, orchestras, and film series. From the mesmerizing Savannah Music Festival to the harmonious Savannah Philharmonic and the star-studded Savannah Film Festival, the Lucas Theatre for the Arts beckons both locals and visitors into a world of artistic wonders.
4. The Kehoe House
A fascinating tale of perseverance and timeless elegance
The Kehoe House began in 1842 when young William Kehoe journeyed from Ireland to Savannah with his family, seeking a new life. Starting as an apprentice in an iron foundry, William’s determination led him to eventually become one of the city’s most successful businessmen. With his growing prosperity, he commissioned the construction of a grander residence, entrusting architect DeWitt Bruyn with the task. In May of 1892, the magnificent Kehoe House was completed, becoming the cherished abode of Mr. and Mrs. Kehoe and their 10 children. After passing through various hands, including football star Joe Namath, the house underwent a two-year renovation in 1990. Today, as The William Kehoe House, it stands as a historic bed and breakfast inn, exuding charm, and hosting guests in its 15 enchanting rooms. From its rich history to its reputation as a haunt for ghost tours, this iconic home weaves a captivating story in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District.
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