505 West 36th Street


Kiah House

BUILT: c. 1920
DISTRICT: Cuyler-Brownville

Virginia Jackson Kiah was an accomplished portrait artist.  She and her husband Calvin moved to Savannah in the early 1950s. Stymied by the racist segregation laws of her day, Kiah was not allowed admittance to museums throughout the South, let alone to exhibit her work.  With her husband, Kiah founded her own museum inside the house at 505 W. 36th Street in Savannah, in 1959.  A museum that would welcome all visitors and feature artwork of all artists, regardless of race.  It became a vital community gathering place, hosting artists, politicians, entertainers, and the general public for decades until Kiah’s death in 2001.

Historic Savannah Foundation is looking for preservation-minded partners and/or buyers to sensitively restore and rehabilitate this property.

In your proposal, please address the following:

  • Potential use of the property
  • Funding for the Restoration
  • Who would own the property
  • Provide a Restoration and maintenance plan
  • Provide a Stewardship plan

If you have any questions about the process or property, please contact Ryan Jarles at rjarles@myhsf.org or call 912-233-7787.