Historic Savannah Foundation will host ribbon cutting for new Preservation Center, and Kennedy Pharmacy Restoration

The Kennedy Pharmacy houses the new Davenport House Musesum (DHM) gift shop, with the second floor serving as an office space for the DMH staff.

The ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Murray C. Pearlman & Wayne C. Spear Preservation Center, and the restoration of the Kennedy Pharmacy will be hosted by Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) on Tuesday, April 26 at 11 a.m.

The ribbon cutting will take place at the Kennedy Pharmacy, located at 323 E. Broughton St. in Savannah.

Contractors broke ground on the construction project in December 2020 following years of planning with the restoration project’s design being spearheaded by Felder & Associates, LLC Architecture firm. Construction work for the project was carried out by Brooks Construction Group.

The completion of the new preservation center and pharmacy mark the end of the first phase of HSF’s project. Phase two of the project will focus on converting the ground floor, which served as an office space for the Davenport House Museum (DHM) staff, into HSF’s “Urban Enslaved” exhibit.

The exhibit will seek to tell the stories of 13 enslaved people who lived on the property, expanding on DHM’s history.

Susan Adler, The President and CEO of HSF is looking forward to the occasion and explained the importance of continuing preservation efforts in Savannah.

“I think in some ways you can define Savannah, by its preservation. When I say preservation, please understand it’s the buildings which are so important, but also the stories and the history. We’ve learned that preserving the stories and the history of these buildings is part of what makes Savannah the city it is,” said Adler.

The new preservation center will be a new community resource containing an educational space for visitors which has the potential to be used for future exhibits, or as a meeting area.

Renovation of the Kennedy Pharmacy is historically accurate to the building’s original 1890 layout, with HSF overseeing maintenance and upkeep of the building. The pharmacy will include the relocated DHM gift shop on the first floor, with the second floor being used as the new office space for DHM employees.

Gregori Anderson, the head of HSF’s building committee and board parliamentarian, expressed his excitement on completion of the project’s first phase. Anderson, whose background is in Architecture, calls Savannah a “living laboratory” and said that preservation is what puts Savannah on the map.

“That’s what I get out of historic preservation. We’re reusing and repurposing buildings within our community and adding to the character and the ambiance of the city,” said Anderson.

This sentiment was echoed by Josh Brooks the former president of HSF’s Board of Trustees and the owner of Brooks Construction Group.

“It is a wonderful experience when you can engage with partners like HSF, and the tremendous staff that they have. Working on buildings of national importance, from a professional point of view, is the most satisfying type of project,” said Brooks.

Progress in Savannah can be a double-edged sword. On one hand businesses and developers can help revitalize areas of the city. On the other hand, progress can lead to the loss of the city’s historic past.

HSF has served as a bastion protecting and preserving Savannah’s history and stories since the “Seven Ladies” — Anna Colquitt Hunter, Lucy Barrow McIntire, Elinor Grunsfeld Adler Dillard, Nola McEvoy Roos, Jane Adair Wright, Katherine Judkins Clark and Dorothy Ripley Roebling — saved the Davenport house in 1955.

As of today, HSF’s revolving fund has saved about 410 endangered buildings in Savannah that hold historical significance.

About The Author

Alex Arango

Alex Arango is a multimedia journalist and Savannah local. He has a passion for quality community journalism, and is looking forward to serving the city that he has always called home.
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