Top 5 Historic Homes in Savannah
There are dozens of historic homes in Savannah, Georgia. These are some of the more significant and interesting. You might even be able to take a tour!
1. Mercer-Williams House
The Mercer House was designed by New York architect John S. Norris for Civil War General Hugh Mercer, great grandfather of songwriter Johnny Mercer, but the house was never home to any of the Mercer family. Construction of the house began in 1860, was interrupted by the Civil War and was later completed, circa 1868, by the new owner, John Wilder. The Italianate mansion is best known for its connection to the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It was the home of Jim Williams, one of Savannah’s earliest and most dedicated private restorationists, who bought the house in 1969 and restored it. This house is one of the more than 50 houses Mr. Williams saved during his thirty-year career in historic restoration in Savannah and the Lowcountry.
429 Bull Street
2. Isaiah Davenport House Museum
The Isaiah Davenport House is an excellent example of Federal-Style architecture. The simple and elegant exterior was constructed of brick and brownstone. It has an ornamental iron railing and handsome double entry stairway. The interior has beautiful woodwork, original plasterwork, a hanging staircase and is filled with period furniture. Visitors are able to get a glimpse of what life was like in Savannah in the 1820s. There is a museum store in the basement of the home. There are daily guided tours.
324 East State Street
3. William Kehoe House
The Kehoe House is a Queen Anne style brick mansion built as a single-family residence in 1893 for William Kehoe. The dark red brick mansion features Corinthian columns, bay windows beneath a parapet, a truncated turret and a variegated roofline, surrounded by balconies and porches. Kehoe used cast iron for all the exterior trim. He arrived in Savannah from Ireland when he was ten years old. After an apprenticeship as an iron molder, Kehoe became the owner of an iron foundry and needed a large house to accommodate his wife and ten children. The house was restored to its original splendor in the late 1990s and opened as a historic inn.
123 Habersham Street
4. Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
Off Wright Square is the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. It was designated as Savannah’s first National Historic Landmark in 1965. The lovely Regency mansion was originally built in 1818-1820 for Savannah mayor James Moore Wayne, who would later serve as a US Congressman and Supreme Court Justice. In 1831, Moore sold the home to his niece, Sarah Stiles, and her husband, William Washington Gordon, the founder of the Central of Georgia Railway, and grandfather of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts. The house remained in the hands of the Gordon family until purchased by the Girl Scouts in 1953.
10 East Oglethorpe Avenue
5. Green-Meldrim House Museum
Civil War Headquarters of General William T. Sherman, the Green-Meldrim House is an example of Gothic Revival architecture. It has a cast iron portico and a covered porch on three sides of the house. It was the most expensive 19th century house in Savannah. The interior of the home includes American black walnut woodwork on the main floor, and elaborate crown moldings and marble mantles. The home also has an elegant curved stairway with a skylight above.
In 1864, the Union army of General William T. Sherman was approaching Savannah. To protect his home from destruction, Mr. Green rode out to meet the Union commander and invited Sherman to use the Green home as his headquarters while in Savannah. Shortly after Sherman’s arrival at Green’s home, Sherman sent his famous telegram to President Lincoln:
“I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.”
14 West Macon Street