Top 10 House Museums in Savannah
House museums are an important part of the preservation of the history of way of life for a community. We are so fortunate to have an array of historical homes in Historic Downtown Savannah that have been preserved and opened to the public for viewing. Touring these grand examples of past lifestyles is a fun way to spend a summer afternoon. In no particular order, let’s take a look at the top ten historical homes in Historic Downtown Savannah that have been turned into museums.
- Sorrel Weed House
Located just across Madison Square from our Savannah office, this historic home is a fine example of Greek Revival and Regency architecture. Built in the 1830s, the Sorrel-Weed House was the first home in the state of Georgia to be designated a State landmark. The museum offers midnight ghost tours as well as the more traditional, daytime history and architecture tours.
- Andrew Low House
Located on Lafayette Square, the Andrew Low house is a glimpse into the life of the wealthiest man in Savannah during the mid-nineteenth century. The home was designed for Andrew Low II in the neoclassical style by John Norris. It is also important to note the gardens, which are one of only three remaining original nineteenth century garden plans in the city.
- Harper Fowlkes House
A Greek Revival mansion built in 1842, the Harper Fowlkes House calls to mind Savannah’s antebellum days. The stately proportions make it a popular venue for wedding parties. The home has been lovingly restored and the extensive grounds make for a wonderful backdrop to blissful vows.
- Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
Built in 1821 by Elizabeth and James Wayne Moore, a lawyer and judge who served as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1835 – 1867. However it was a later resident who would go on to make the Federal style home famous. Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA was born here. Of all of the house museums on this list, this home may very well be the most visited- Girl Scout Troops from all over the country make pilgrimage here all year long.
- Davenport House Museum
This American Federal-style house, built in 1820 by master builder Isaiah Davenport, was the first to be purchased and preserved by the Historic Savannah Foundation. The home was opened in March of 1963 to the public and led the way for the revitalization of the history of downtown Savannah.
- Green-Meldrim House
Located just across the street from our Savannah office, the Green-Meldrim House is one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival in the entire South. Built in the early 1850s, General William Techumseh Sherman used the home as headquarters while he was in Savannah during the Civil War, at the behest of the owner.
- Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters
This Regency style mansion built in 1819 is a part of the Telfair Museums and is a showcase of the complicated history of Savannah in the early 19th Century. While the main house is an impressive sight to see, this house museum is unique for its unwavering focus on the more shameful aspects of our nation’s history- how the lower class and enslaved lived.
- Telfair Academy
Another stately, neoclassical mansion designed by master architect William Jay, and part of the Telfair Museum properties. The house-turned-museum is set up more like a traditional museum than a home, and showcases pieces of nineteenth and twentieth century American and European art from the Telfair’s permanent collection.
- Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home
The Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home is fairly unique among house museums. It is one of only a handful of historic house museums that have been restored to the era of the Great Depression. Be sure to check out their collection of rare books in the Bruckheimer Library.
- Mercer Williams House
The last house museum on our list may well be the most famous thanks to the popularity of ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’. The Mercer Williams House is a mix of Renaissance Revival, Greek and Italianate styles. The original owner, General Hugh W. Mercer (great-grandfather to the celebrated songwriter Johnny Mercer) had the construction begun in 1860 but was interrupted by the Civil War. He sold the home in its unfinished state to John R. Wilder, who continued with the original plans as designed by New York architect, John Norris.
Whether you live here or visit, stopping in to one of these house museums is an interesting way to spend a few hours. Getting a glimpse into the history of Savannah and gathering design inspiration from the historical decor is just one more way to enjoy all that our beautiful city has to offer.