The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace on Oglethorpe Avenue.
The iconic Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace downtown begins the construction phase of a major renovation, set to finish in September of this year.
This will be the first comprehensive renovation of the Birthplace since 2004. The project is moving forward after site plan approval by the Savannah Historic District Board of Review during the November 2019 meeting.
Juliette Gordon Low was born in Savannah in 1860 and used the house on Oglethorpe Avenue to begin recruiting for the first Girl Scout troops in the nation in 1912.
"Girl Scouts of the USA is investing heavily in the Birthplace to provide the features it needs to continue to be relevant, impactful and empowering to today’s girls, while also enhancing visitor experience," a spokesperson says.
“We are creating engaging and relevant program spaces for our girls; modernizing the store to attract all visitors and provide opportunities for experiences as well as retail; and creating an outdoor space where girls can have their pinning and bridging ceremonies in a space that is developed with them as the primary audience,” said Angela Olden, Chief Financial Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA.
The renovation focuses on "expanding use of the outbuildings as program areas, adding flexibility and accessibility throughout the site and enhancing the garden area. The plans align with the vision of Juliette Gordon Low to create a space to be enjoyed by Girl Scouts," the spokesperson says.
Designs for the renovation.
“As a member of the Birthplace Advisory Committee, I know what a thoughtful, respectful and professional process Girl Scouts has undertaken to develop this plan,” said Patti Lyons, President of Senior Citizens Inc. and Lifetime Girl Scout member. “Staff and BAC members have listened to ideas and feedback from community members, preservationists, Gordon family members, and visitors themselves. It is an honor to help further the legacy of Juliette Gordon Low through this renovation project.”
The Birthplace says "The plans do not jeopardize the historic designation. A majority of the material being removed is non-historic material. The main house itself, built in 1820, stands as a National Historic Landmark and as a contributing structure to a National Historic District. The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace will maintain its status as a National Historic Landmark."
Follow the overall progress by visiting www.juliettegordonlowbirthplace.org or touring the site at 10 E. Oglethorpe Avenue.
● January 20: Construction begins
● February 14 – 22: Archaeology activity
● February 21: Groundbreaking ceremony
● March: Garden level of Main house, first floor of outbuilding west and Bull Street ramp
● May: Outbuildings
● September: Complete garden, main house third floor and exterior painting