Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pine Gardens neighborhood gets Historic District status

Posted By on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 4:19 PM

The Pine Gardens Historic District, roughly bounded by Beech and Capitol streets and Goebel Avenue, is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The neighborhood was listed at the state level of significance because "it is the largest and most intact concentration of World War II defense industry housing in the state," according to a City of Savannah spokesperson.

The Pine Gardens neighborhood was developed by the consortium Pine Gardens, Inc. to provide housing for civilian shipyard workers employed at the nearby Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation that had been established in 1942 along the Savannah River east of downtown Savannah.

As one of only 18 Liberty ship manufacturers in the United States, they produced 88 Liberty ships and 18 C-1-type ships by war’s end employing 15,000 workers at any given time.

After the war, Pine Gardens Annex was developed adjacent to the original subdivision to provide housing for returning veterans.

The Pine Gardens Historic District is significant for its examples of the American Small House, a type of house that was popular in the 1930s and 1940s in Georgia and that catered to the material shortages of World War II.

Constructing housing for workers was an integral part of the production of war materiel and the small houses enabled Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation to efficiently house 500 workers and their families.

Pine Gardens is also important because it represents large-scale mobilization during World War II, which included the construction of military installations and the communities that housed the civilian defense workers, in accordance with President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8632, Coordinating National Defense Housing, issued in 1941.
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