By: Sarah Marsom, Historic Preservation Advocate
Two weeks ago Robin Williams, Chair of Savannah College of Art and Design’s Architectural History Program, visited German Village. Williams visited German Village, as a part of his national study on historic road paving materials and curbing. His study is to show what kind of materials were used, when they were installed, and more. Cities like Chicago at one point in time used wood blocks as street pavers.
Many cities have paved over their wood or brick streets, but luckily German Village was able to preserve the majority of the neighborhood’s historic roads. I had the opportunity to walk around German Village with Williams, and ask him a question I had about City Park. Along City Park’s sidewalks there are some large stretches of limestone. Apparently, Savannah has the same detail and it is a relic of the original sidewalks. The limestone is actually the original curb, and when the street was paved the city widened the curbs as a cost saving measure (less street pavers to lay).
German Village Historic District’s neighborhood is unique not only for its architecture, and neighborhood spirit, but also for its streets. Williams stated that German Village’s streets are the most intact he has seen during his research. Are you interested in learning more about German Village’s history? Join me on August 19, in Fest Hall, to view never before seen photos of the brick street construction in German Village. These photos are a part of “When German Village Was Young”, a presentation of the GVS Art Committee.