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Sweet Savannah

Sweet Savannah

The Charming Historic District Offers Beautiful Homes And Lots Of Attractions

Down-home hospitable yet archly sophisticated, Savannah’s Historic District, one of Georgia’s most celebrated neighborhoods, offers the best of small-town and big-city living. Located in the heart of the city’s downtown, the neighborhood is defined by its live-oak trees that shade centuries-old cobblestone streets.

“People come here to live a quiet life sipping coffee on their side porch or a faster one full of clicking glasses at speakeasies,” says Taavo Roos, a real estate salesperson for Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty. “You can easily find community and friends, not only because of the nature of the city, but also the demeanor of its residents.”

Houses in Savannah’s Historic District have a picture-perfect look that makes it popular with film crews
Houses in Savannah’s Historic District have a picture-perfect look that makes it popular with film crews.

HOUSES WITH HISTORY—AND OLD-TIME CHARM

The Historic District is filled with 18th- and 19th-century architecture. “The vast majority of the homes date to the 1800s,” Roos says. Typically, the bulk of the inventory for single-family homes is between $500,000 and $2 million, Roos says. The top end is just under $5 million, he says.

“There also are some townhouses that have been split up into several condos, and those can be found throughout the Historic District interspersed with single-family homes and townhouses,” he says.

$699,000

Property ID: M4NEY5 | sothebysrealty.com

Sotheby’s International Realty

0593275

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE

The Historic District attracts millions of visitors a year, many of them familiar with it from its starring role in films and books.

Forrest Gump, the title character of the 1994 movie of the same name, was sitting on a bench in the Historic District’s Monterey Square when he said his famous “Life is like a box of chocolates” line.

John Berendt’s 1994 nonfiction best seller, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, takes place in the Historic District, which is also where the 1997 movie version was shot. Its fame aside, the Historic District is known for its history and historic architecture. The neighborhood includes the birthplace of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low and several other historic-house museums, including the Isaiah Davenport House, the Green-Meldrim House, the Owens-Thomas House, the William Scarbrough House, and the Sorrel-Weed House. The Savannah College of Art and Design is housed in buildings around the neighborhood. “It adds a wonderful artistic vibe to the city,” Roos says.

Savannah, established in 1733, has the distinction of being the state’s oldest city, and the Historic District, for the most part, follows the original plan of founder James Oglethorpe. That plan included 22 public squares that are still intact.

Outdoor activities, Roos says, are the neighborhood’s “sweet spot. Each of the squares is unique and surrounded by historic homes, churches, and businesses. They often are full of history themselves, with monuments and information on the history of the city.”

Forsyth Park, which covers 30 acres, is a prime gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. Its attractions include a spectacular fountain that’s more than 150 years old, tennis and basketball courts, grassy fields, a fragrant garden, and an amphitheater.

Noting that Savannah is a “food-and-drink town,” Roos says the Historic District offers a prime perk: “It’s walking distance to tons of wonderful restaurants, bars, and shops.” The Grey, which is in a refurbished 1938 Art Deco Greyhound bus terminal and won a 2019 James Beard award, offers modern Southern fare. Husk Savannah “redefines what it means to cook and eat in the South,” according to its website. And Collins Quarter at Forsyth is a cafe known for its broad weekend brunch menu.

At Leopold’s Ice Cream, the old-fashioned soda fountain has been a mainstay for 101 years. The Historic District’s boutiques are sophisticated. ShopSCAD features a mix of jewelry and fine art as well as home decor created by Savannah School of Art and Design artists, faculty, and alumni. There are also Harper, a women’s clothing boutique, and Paris Market, a gift shop with a cafe.

Roos says the real beauty of the Historic District is that it offers something for everyone—art students, heads of corporations, small-business owners, families, and young professionals. “They all call Savannah home for various reasons, whether it’s the beauty of the city, the restaurants, the culture, or the overall art scene,” he says. “It’s hard to resist things like James Beard-award-winning restaurants and tree-lined streets that look like movie sets.”

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