SAVANNAH'S VICTORIAN ERA: LOSS AND REGENERATION
The gallery focuses on the preservation of Savannah's Historic Districts when it was threatened with architectural modernization. The 1950s saw a growing trend to revitalize the historic districts by tearing down 18th and 19th-century buildings and replacing them with modern masonry, steel commercial buildings, and multi-level parking garages. Cities like Jacksonville and Atlanta were examples of such modernization. This gallery pays special tribute to the SEVEN PROMINENT LADIES that banded together to form the HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION (HSF) and raised $22,500 to buy and restore the Davenport House. Today over 350 of Savannah's most treasured buildings have been saved thanks to the efforts of HSF.
The gallery also pays tribute to W.W. LAW, a civil rights activist, historian, educator, and president of the Savannah chapter of the NAACP from 1950-76. He advocated for the preservation and interpretation of several African-American historic sites. He saved KING TISDELL COTTAGE, developed the historic BEACH INSTITUTE, and his efforts to document the Civil Rights Movement in Savannah led to the establishment of the RALPH MARK GILBERT CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM.
The gallery also features an award-winning site film, a model of the famous Hermitage Plantation home and several exquisite architectural elements that were rescued when buildings were demolished in Savannah.