Our mission is to preserve and protect Savannah’s heritage through advocacy, education, and community involvement.
Savannah is unique among American cities with its celebrated 18th, 19th and early 20th century architecture, one square mile National Historic Landmark District and 12 National Register districts, twenty-two of an original twenty-four squares, even the charming Spanish moss draped from the trees.
However, it was not always this way. A half century of economic decline and the impact of the automobile in the first part of the 20th century resulted in a city’s heritage wallowing in sad decay. By the mid-1950s, the loss of the Wetter House, beloved City Market and demolition threats to the Isaiah Davenport House sparked the formation of Historic Savannah Foundation. Led by seven visionary women, HSF purchased the c. 1820 Davenport House and thus began the organization’s formal entry into the world of preservation and real estate.
Since that auspicious beginning in 1955, HSF started a Revolving Fund to buy and sell endangered historic properties which has now saved over 350 buildings and counting, in not just the Landmark District but throughout several of Savannah’s National Register districts. HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country—emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. Instead of being a reactive crisis-oriented organization, HSF became a credible civic-minded organization that puts its money where its mouth is and works proactively to save the city’s heritage. HSF is proud of its outstanding museum, the Isaiah Davenport House, its nationally recognized Revolving Fund, and its educational programs.
HSF demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand. Anyone who has visited Savannah knows that preservation is, arguably, the backbone of the economy and inarguably what makes it different from any other city in America. HSF is a big part of that!