Savannah's historic district was designated a national historic landmark in 1966; many of its 18th- and 19th-century homes have been restored. Despite devastating fires in 1796 and 1820, many old buildings have survived, including the Pirates' House (1754), an old seaman's inn mentioned in Stevenson's Treasure Island; the Herb House (1734), the oldest existing building in Georgia; and the Pink House (1789), site of Georgia's first bank. The mansion birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (built 1819-21) is owned and operated by the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. as a memorial to their founder. The monument and grave of Nathanael Greene are in Johnson Square. The many churches include the Lutheran Church of Ascension (dating from 1741); the Independent Presbyterian Church (1890s), a replica of an earlier church destroyed by fire and the scene of Woodrow Wilson's marriage to Ellen Axson; and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (1876), one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in the South.
Savannah is Georgia's oldest city; it was founded by James Oglethorpe in 1733 and served as the colonial seat of government. During the American Revolution the British took Savannah on Dec. 29, 1778, and held it until July, 1782. A land-sea force of French and Americans tried to retake the city in 1779, first by siege and then by direct assault (on Oct. 9), but failed dismally. Savannah was the state capital from 1782 to 1785. With the growth of trade, and especially after the invention of the cotton gin and the construction of railroads extending to the cotton fields of central Georgia, the city became a rival of Charleston as a commercial center. The first steamship to cross the Atlantic, the Savannah, sailed from there to Liverpool in 1819. In the Civil War, Fort Pulaski, on an island near the mouth of the Savannah River, was captured by Federals in 1862, but the city did not fall until Dec. 21, 1864, when Sherman entered.
Savannah is a city located in the state of Georgia, United States. It is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Chatham County. Savannah was established in 1733 and was the first colonial and state capital of Georgia. Savannah attracts millions of visitors, who enjoy the city's architecture and historic buildings: the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America), the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences (one of the South's first public museums), the First African Baptist Church (one of the oldest African American Baptist congregations in the United States), Temple Mickve Israel (the third-oldest synagogue in America), and the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex (the oldest standing antebellum rail facility in America). Today, Savannah's downtown area, the Savannah Historic District, is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States (designated by the U.S. government in 1966).
Because of its marshiness and flat topography, Savannah is prone to flooding. Four canals and pumping stations have been built to help reduce the effects: Fell Street Canal, Kayton Canal, Springfield Canal and the Casey Canal, with the first three draining north into the Savannah River.
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|Norm High °F||60.4||64.1||71||77.7||84.3||89.5||92.3||90.3||86||78.1||70.5||62.6|
|Norm Low °F||38||40.9||47.5||52.9||61.3||68.1||71.8||71.3||67.3||56.1||46.9||40.1|
|Rec Low °F||3||14||20||32||39||51||61||57||43||28||15||9|
Savannah's population was estimated to be 127,889 in 2006, down from the official 2000 U.S. Census report of 131,510 residents. However, over this same six-year period the estimated population of the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as Bryan, Chatham, and Effingham counties, grew from 294,000 to 320,013, an increase of 9 percent. Savannah's MSA is ranked third among Georgia cities.
As of the census of 2000, there were 131,510 people, 51,375 households, and 31,390 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,759.5 people per square mile (679.4/km²). There were 57,437 housing units at an average density of 768.5/sq mi (296.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.08% African American, 38.86% White, 1.52% Asian, 0.23% Native American, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.23% of the population.
There were 51,375 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 13.2% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,038, and the median income for a family was $36,410. Males had a median income of $28,545 versus $22,309 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,921. About 17.7% of families and 21.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.4% of those under age 18 and 15.1% of those age 65 or over.
The Savannah region's mild climate offered perfect conditions for growing cotton, which became the dominant commodity after the American Revolution. Its production (under the plantation system) helped the city's European immigrants to achieve wealth and prosperity.
The Port of Savannah was one of the most frequented in the United States and Savannah's inhabitants had the opportunity to consume some of the world's finest goods, imported by foreign merchants. Savannah's port has always been a mainstay of the city's economy. In the early years of U.S. history, goods produced in the New World had to pass through ports such as Savannah's before they could be shipped to England.
Joining the Georgia Port, manufacturing and the military, the Tourism industry rounds out Savannah's four major economic drivers. In 2006, the Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau reports over 6.85 million people visited the city. Lodging, dining, entertainment,and visitor-related transportation accounts for over $2 billion dollars in visitors spending per year while employing over 17,000.
For years, Savannah was the home of Union Camp, which housed the world's largest paper mill. The plant is now owned by International Paper, and it remains one of Savannah's largest employers. Savannah is also home to the famous Gulfstream Aerospace company, maker of private jets, as well as various other large industrial interests.
In 2000, JCB, the third largest producer of construction equipment in the world and the leading manufacturer of backhoes and telescopic handlers, built its North American Headquarters in Savannah on I-95 near the airport.
The city is the home of four colleges and universities offering bachelor's, master's and professional doctorate degree programs: Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah State University, and South University. Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. programs in engineering are also offered through Georgia Tech Savannah, the Savannah campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia Southern University maintains a satellite campus in the downtown area. Savannah Technical College, a public, 2-year institution of technical and adult education also operates in the city. The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography is a marine science research institute located on the northern end of Skidaway Island near Savannah.
Other notable schools include:
Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah (formerly Oatland Island Education Center; the center was given the new name in 2007) is also a part of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools,and the premier environmental education center in the southeast, serving thousands of students from school systems throughout the region. Located just east of Savannah on a marsh island, the Center features a "Native Animal Nature Trail" that winds through maritime forest, salt marsh, and freshwater wetlands. Along the way, visitors can observe native animals such as Florida panthers, Eastern timber wolves, alligators, and many more in their natural habitat.
Amtrak operates a passenger terminal at Savannah for the Palmetto and Silver Service trains running between New York City and Miami, Florida with three southbound and three northbound trains stopping at the station daily. Savannah is visited infrequently by special excursion trains operated by GrandLuxe Rail Journeys, and Georgia's SAM Shortline Specials.
Public transit throughout the region is provided by Chatham Area Transit.
Interstate 16 - Terminates in downtown Savannah at Liberty and Montgomery Streets, and intersects with Interstate 95 and Interstate 516.
Interstate 516 - An urban perimeter highway connecting Southside Savannah, at DeRenne Avenue, with the industrialized port area of the city to the north; intersects with the Veterans Parkway and Interstate 16, as well. Also known as Lynes Parkway.
Harry S. Truman Parkway - Runs through the eastside of town, connecting the east end of Downtown with Southside Savannah. The road has been under construction since 1992, and is opening in phases with the latest phase opening in 2004. The highway will eventually complete a chain of highways that form a loop around the city that include Interstate 516, Veterans Parkway and the Truman Parkway.
Veterans Parkway - Links Interstate 516 and Southside/Midtown Savannah with South Savannah, and is intended to move traffic quicker from north-south by avoiding high-volume Abercorn Expressway. Also known as the Southwest Bypass.
Abercorn Expressway (S.R. 204) - An extension of Abercorn Street that begins at 37th Street (which is its northern point) and terminates at Rio Road and the Forest River at its southern point, and serves as the primary traffic and commercial artery linking downtown, midtown and southside sections of the city.
Islands Expressway - An extension of President Street to facilitate traffic moving between Downtown Savannah and the barrier islands, as well as the beaches of Tybee Island
Victory Drive (U.S. 80) - Runs east-west through Midtown Savannah and connects the city with the town of Thunderbolt, and the islands of Whitemarsh, Talahi, Wilmington and Tybee. Merges with the Islands Expressway and serves as the only means of reaching the beach by automobile.
On February 12, 1733, General James Oglethorpe and his settlers landed at Yamacraw Bluff and were greeted by Tomo-Chi-Chi, the Yamacraws, and Indian traders John and Mary Musgrove. (Mary Musgrove often served as a translator.) The city of Savannah was founded on that date, along with the colony of Georgia. In 1751, Savannah and the rest of Georgia became a Royal Colony and Savannah was made the colonial capital of Georgia.
While some see the police merger as a step toward city-county consolidation, Savannah is actually one of eight incorporated cities or towns in Chatham County. (The others are Bloomingdale, Garden City, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Thunderbolt, Tybee Island, and Vernonburg). Although these seven smaller localities would remain independent from a consolidated government, they have long opposed any efforts to adopt a city-county merger. One fear is that consolidation would reduce county funding to areas outside of Savannah. Efforts toward city-county consolidation are also opposed by some wealthier Chatham County communities, including The Landings on Skidaway Island, since these residents fear higher tax rates in a consolidated government. However, consolidation is favored by some city and county boosters, including Savannah's main newspaper, and merger plans have been presented to state legislators in the recent past. Should consolidation pass, Savannah would become Georgia's second-largest city, with a population of more than 205,000 (by state law, the almost 35,000 residents of the seven smaller incorporated towns remain independent; they are not included in a Savannah-Chatham consolidation plan).
Savannah's architecture and history are internationally known, as is its reputation for Southern charm and hospitality; for example, the city's former promotional name was "Hostess City of the South," a phrase still used by the city government. Each year, Savannah attracts millions of visitors from across the country and around the world. Savannah's downtown area is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States.
The city's location offers visitors access to the coastal islands and the Savannah Riverfront, both popular tourist destinations. Tybee Island, formerly known as "Savannah Beach", is the site of the Tybee Island Light Station, the first lighthouse on the southern Atlantic coast. Other picturesque towns adjacent to Savannah include the shrimping village of Thunderbolt and two residential areas that began as summer resort communities for Savannahians: Beaulieu and Vernonburg.
The Savannah International Trade & Convention Center is located on Hutchinson Island, across from downtown Savannah and surrounded by the Savannah River. The Belles Ferry connects the island with the mainland, as does the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge.
Savannah's historic district has 24 squares. The squares vary in size and personality, from the formal fountain and monuments of the largest, Johnson, to the playgrounds of the smallest, Crawford. Elbert, Ellis, and Liberty Squares are classified as the "lost squares," destroyed due to development in the 1950s. Elbert and Liberty Squares were paved over to make way for a realignment of US 17, while Ellis Square was demolished to build the City Market parking garage. Separate efforts are under way to revive each of the three lost squares. The city has recently razed the City Market parking garage in order to build a new parking facility underground, with a new park on the street level.
Savannah is home to a number of historic houses of worship. The First Bryan Baptist Church is an African-American church that has its beginnings in 1788. The original land the church is on was purchased by Andrew Bryan, the congregation's founder, in 1793, with the actual building the First Bryan Baptist Church now worships in being constructed in 1873. However, in 1832, a split in the congregation produced the First African Baptist Church. In 1859, the members of this new congregation (most of whom were slaves) built their current church building on Franklin Square.
The oldest standing house of worship is First Baptist Church, Savannah (1833), located on Chippewa Square.
WSAV 3 serves as an NBC affiliate on analog, and on digital television it serves for MyNetworkTV. WTOC 11 is under CBS, WTGS 28 is under FOX, WJCL 22 is ABC, and WGSA 13 falls under the affiliation of The CW Network.
The Savannah Children's Choir: choir for children in 2nd through 8th grades that performs throughout the community and in annual holiday and spring concerts.
The Savannah Choral Society: choral ensemble with members from around the greater Savannah region.
The Savannah Music Festival: An annual music festival of diverse artists.
The Savannah Sinfonietta: professional orchestra, which presents an annual season of classical and popular concert performances.
The Savannah Winds: Amateur concert band hosted by the music department of Armstrong Atlantic State University.
Savannah Children's Theatre: A non-profit, year-round amateur drama theatre company geared toward offering elementary through high school students (and adults) opportunities for participation in dramatic and musical productions.
Savannah Community Theatre: A full theater season with a diverse programming schedule, featuring some of Savannah's finest actors in an intimate, three-quarter-round space.
Savannah Theatre: Savannah's only fully professional resident theater, producing music revues with live singers, dancers and the most rockin' band in town. Performances happen year-round, with several different titles and the well-liked holiday show, A Christmas Tradition.
|Batumi (Ajaria, Georgia)|
|Patras (Akhaia, Greece)|
|Kaya (Burkina Faso)|