In a study published by the Savannah Historic Foundation, one of the most admired preservation groups in the country, more than 40 percent of 2,500 buildings inventoried in Savannah had architectural or historical significance. Most restoration has been accomplished by individuals – one building at a time. With the addition of the Savannah College of Art and Design in the late 1970s, historic preservation and restoration flourished. From the simple Colonial style to the intricate Medieval-influenced cathedrals, to the gingerbread accents of the Victorian period; examples of most, if not all, of the nation’s 18th and 19th century prevailing architectural styles can be found in Savannah.
The Federal style is depicted by prominent square or rectangular exteriors with slender curved iron stair railings and Palladian or Venetian windows.
Savannah example: The Davenport House
The Georgian style is depicted by symmetrical square facades with hipped roofs. Chimneys are built on the ends and quoins often adorn the corners.
Savannah example: The Olde Pink House Restaurant
The Gothic Revival style is depicted by crafted details on pinnacles, chimneys and large welcoming entry hallways. Often used on churches of the period.
Savannah example: Temple Mickve Israel
The Greek Revival style is depicted by gabled portico or temple facade of one or two stories with columns of the Greek Doric or Iconic orders. Construction is post and beam, and roofs are designed with slopes and may be disguised behind heavy cornices and parapets.
Savannah example: First Baptist Church
The Italianate style was inspired by the farm houses of northern Italy and is depicted by low garbled roofs with wide overhanging eaves supported by decorative brackets, and entrance towers and roundhead windows with hood moldings. Most examples also feature cast-iron fronts and detailed entrances.
Savannah example: Mercer Williams House
The Regency style is depicted by triangular pediments, semi-circular stairs, articulated window openings, ionic columns and classical alcove entrance ways.
Savannah example: Telfair Museum of Art
The Romanesque Revival style is depicted by arch and dome construction, Corinthian column capitols and roof balustrades.
Savannah example: The Cotton Exchange
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire style emphasizes picturesque vertical accents on building tops like chimneys and corner pinnacles. Also featured are turrets and domes reminiscent of French Renaissance architecture in the seventeenth century.
Savannah example: Hamilton-Turner House
Information courtesy of Savannah Convention & Visitor’s Bureau