Out of all the architectural styles we have here in Savannah, the Gothic Revival might be the easiest to spot.
One of the longest-lasting styles of its time, the Gothic Revival’s dramatic characteristics and pointed design give a sense of grandeur in a way that other styles of its period couldn’t compete with. Gothic Revival architecture varied considerably in its faithfulness to both the ornamental style and principles of construction of its medieval original. In Savannah, the result is beautifully crafted buildings that withstand the test of time.
Emerging in 1800s England, the Gothic Revival movement did not just affect design, but philosophy, literature and art as well. There was a widespread re-awakening associated with Catholicism and of the High Church, competing with Neoclassic designs. And as architecture adapted to this new shift, it imitated the religious movement in a number of ways. There were many ornamental elements, but also a simplicity in structure and shape. As it slowly faded out of popularity, the buildings that did employ the style dwindled down to churches and educational institutions.
- Steeply pitched roof: Dramatic sloping roofs and tall, skinny towers brought a true Gothic feel to the revival style.
- Gothic decoration: Detailed decoration enhanced other design features like window frames and on transoms above doors.
- Pointed windows: Even stained glass depending on the building’s purpose, pointed windows and arches were a popular feature to give the design character.
Where to Find
Savannah’s two most notable Gothic Revival buildings are the Temple Mickve Israel and the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Both buildings incorporate beautiful stained glass features in their designs as well as pointed structures. The Cathedral even features tall towers and a sloping roof. And to make your visit even more notable, you can respectfully peek inside each building so long as there is not a service taking place.