Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Savannah Squares

With only two days in Savannah, we began Tuesday with a Grayline tour so that we could get a sense of this city, another small, charming southern city.

We got a bit of history about Georgia, which was founded as a social experiment (like North Carolina) but much later, in the 1730s, the last of the British North American colonies and the one most doubtful about the break with England in 1775. Still they joined the struggle for independence and suffered under British seige and battle.

The city was founded in 1733 by James Oglethorpe, the proprietor of the colony. It was the first planned city in North America, and to this day it retains 22 of the original parks, or squares, that Oglethorpe planned for it. As you will see, they have also taken care to preserve their architectural heritage and integrated a modest amount of growth with it.

After the Grayline, we simply walked the historic portion of the city, rambling the streets, visiting the squares and the riverfront. In all, we covered about three miles on foot.

St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral and Basilica

Stations of the Cross

The Factors' Walk. The cotton factors or brokers would hawk their wares from these bridges. Warehouses and the river to the right, city to the left

Steps from Bay Street to River Street

The cotton exchange of 1886, designed in the Richardsonian style by another Boston architect, William G. Preston.

Scene from near the city market

The civic Telfair museum

Monument on Wright Square to Tomochichi, a native chieftain who aided the early settlers

A better blogger would offer more identification of the squares and buildings. I have labeled them where I can, but we rambled.

Before dinner we returned to our hotel, the historic Marshall House. Most often on these trips we stay in corporate hotels. They are cheap, they offer amenities like quick breakfasts, exercise rooms and guest laundries, which we need. But every once in a while a guidebook or will point us to an historic hotel or even a bed and breakfast. The Marshall House is an historic hotel extraordinaire, probably the nicest we have stayed in since Saratoga, NY last year. The Marshall House opened as a hotel in 1851 and closed in 1957. After forty two years and a very extensive and careful renovation, it reopened in 1999. We were impressed by how sensitively and thoroughly the renovations have been done.So I have devoted a few images to the hotel.
Home sweet home, the Marshall House, circa 1851
Grand staircase
Sharon in the sitting room, the lobby behind her

Today's breakfast room

Card room

Table in the third floor hallway

Pan of our room

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