SAVANNAH Georgia – Once a year in Savannah’s beautiful autumn, the Greek community rolls out the carpet of welcome to Greek music, dancing, food, and heritage.
The Savannah Greek Food Festival is happening again this fall – October 9 – 11, 2014.
“On April 7, 1910, the Greeks of Savannah celebrated the 80th anniversary of the nation of Greece’s independence from Turkish rule. The anniversary was marked throughout the day with religious and civic events, including a parade, addresses, banquet and dance.” – Source: A Century of History, Savannah City Hall Centennial, 1906-2006
This little Savannah B&B wishes to encourage even a bigger Greek celebration by taking in Savannah’s Greek Revival architecture, showcasing architecture with elements of ancient Greece. But where?- The Nathanael Greene Monument (Johnson Square) is designed by William Strickland (1788-1854), one of the principal architects responsible for popularizing the Greek Revival Style in America.
- In 1864, the Massie School (now Massie Heritage Center) on Calhoun Square, a Greek Revival building, served as a hospital. After the Civil War, it served as a school for the Freedmen.
- The Central of Georgia Railroad’s Gray Building is now a Savannah College of Art and Design property. A good example of Greek Revival architecture, it is a component of the large complex of mid-19th century railroad structures, and one of the oldest such facilities in the country. This building was the first permanent office building of The Central and Georgia Railroad and housed transportation and administrative offices.
- First Baptist Church (223 Bull Street on Chippewa Square) is a good example of Greek Revival Style of the pure temple form, and an Integral part of Savannah National Register. Here Union and Confederate troops attended worship services under one roof during the American Civil War.
- Ships of Sea Museum (formerly Scarbrough Mansion) is an unusual Regency-Greek Revival house designed by Savannah architect William Jay. The house was built for the prominent merchant, planter, and inventor, William Scarbrough. It was Mr. Scarbrough who led the enterprise to build and launch the Steamship Savannah, the first steam vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
- The Savannah Visitors Center / Welcome Station (header photo) was erected in 1860, but not in use until 1865. The “Passenger Depot” is a two story structure of red brick. Pilasters ornament the entrances facade to the building, and its windows are arched. These features give it an eclectic appearance of Greek revival and Italianate styles. Due to the Civil War, the glass and other materials needed to complete it were not available so the structure was boarded up to prevent it from deterioration. The structure was used as a passenger train station for over a hundred years. It is now the Welcome Station, better known at the Savannah Visitor Center for Savannah, Georgia tourists.
- One cannot come to Savannah without savoring Leopold’s Ice Cream. Founded in 1919 by three immigrant brothers from Greece – George, Peter, and Basil Leopold — today Peter’s son, Stratton Leopold and his wife Mary serve up “Good Things to Eat. Good Things to Drink™ — including the Leopold family’s secret formulas, which feature only the best quality ingredients.
Who remembers ‘Anton’s’, Savannah’s first real deli, which was located on Broughton Street near Bull Street. It was complete with dill pickles on every table. Its owner, Andy Andrews, was a Greek-American who invariably visited customers (before they took their final bite), saying: “I hope you enjoyed it.” Everyone knew this meant, “Ok, now that you’ve eaten, get out and make room for the next customer.”
Even after this Greek Festival weekend, we hope you’ll take in the best of Greek culture and architecture year around in Savannah. Greek cuisine is available at the Olympic Café (on River Street), Troy Mediterranean café (on Wilmington Island), Zoë’s Kitchen on Victory Drive near Whole Foods Market, and Yia Yia’s Kitchen market and cafe on Habersham Street near Washington Avenue.
Savannah this way! (TM) — What new introductions may we make for your next visit in Savannah?
Diane McCray, Innkeeper and cultural explorer
Green Palm Inn, a bed and breakfast home
548 East President Street, Savannah, GA USA 31401
Telephone 912-447-8901 / Toll Free USA / Canada 888-606-9510 greenpalminn.com | Twitter @GreenPalmInn | Facebook Pinterest | YouTube Travel Video: The Softer Side of Savannah
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