San Rafael Valley, AZ ~~ Photo by Bill Haas

Sunday, July 5, 2009



This is a city rich in architectural splendor and old fashioned Southern Gothic charm, established in 1733 on a bluff overlooking the Savannah River. Its historic district, the largest in the country and older than the American Revolution, is a designated National Landmark Historic District.

Historic Preservation was one of the original disciplines of the Savannah College of Art and Design's School of Building Arts. The college started acquiring buildings for student projects and began restoring and renovating old and abandoned buildings for its own use for college facilities. The historic district now includes more than 60 buildings that have been faithfully restored and renovated by students of the college.
Savannah has Colonial neighborhoods, Victorian neighborhoods, Civil War neighborhoods and 22 unique town squares scattered throughout the district. These squares are actually mini-parks with fountains, gazebos, benches and monuments, each with its own style and theme. All are beautifully landscaped and dappled with the leafy shade of stately Live Oaks, hundreds of years old. The squares also serve as roundabouts, enabling traffic to conveniently change direction, and one of them was where Forest Gump sat to wax poetic about chocolates and such.
Roundhouse Railroad Museum
Even the Savannah Police participated in the city's restoration zeal!
This is the old site of Telfair Hospital for Females, the vision of Mary Telfair whose dream was realized in 1886 -- a hospital dedicated exclusively for the care of women. It was later a children's ward and a nursing school; I don't know what the building is used for now.
First African Baptist Church served as a stop on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Holes in the sanctuary flooring had been cut to resemble a "tribal symbol," but which were actually air holes for slaves hiding in the 4-foot square space beneath the floorboards.
Neither Colonial nor Victorian, it used to be a downtown car dealership, now a restored oddity for boutique shoppers!
Replicas of this stylized dolphin downspout are sold in souvenir shops. Whatever!
Now a visit to the city's waterfront where cotton merchants (called factors) transacted business when "Cotton was King" -- a really old part of the city that hasn't seen too too much gentrification. Therein lies its charm...rumpled, cobbled streets, for example...
And sidewalks that incorporate crushed seashells in its old-style pavement matrix...
Or cobblestones brought as ballast by early sailing ships...
And building exteriors exposing three different mutations of building material.
And yet another.
Waiting for the Art & Design students.
This stairway from the waterfront to the bluff calls for some high-steppin', as its risers are about 15" high!
Talmadge Suspension Bridge. Cables like gossamer...
Spans the Savannah River and connects Savannah to South Carolina.
The "Waving Girl" statue depicts Florence Martus and her faithful collie. Florence would greet ships entering the Savannah harbor by waving her handkerchief and later a lantern. Eventually, the sailors responded by waving back or blasting their ship's horn. There is another legend, unsubstantiated, that Florence stood on the bluff and waved to let her sailor lover know she was still waiting for him. Ultimately, if he actually existed, he was a no-show.
Coming soon to a city near you; franchises available. All you need is a net worth of $1,300,000. and liquid assets of around $500,000. plus the usual development, marketing, franchise, and build-out fees -- possibly another mil. But hey, an Obama testimonial has gotta be worth at least that much, right?!!
ATLANTA, Georgia

Although I found the 21st Century glass and steel architecture in Atlanta just spectacular, I'm not much of a city girl so I stuck around just long enough to indulge in some retail therapy, visit one museum and get lost a lot!
Can you find an Uppity Woman in this photograph?!!!