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HSF Lecture Series: "The Revitalization of Waters Avenue"

15aug6:00 pm7:00 pmHSF Lecture Series: "The Revitalization of Waters Avenue"Historic Savannah Foundation's 2024 Lecture Series continues with a discussion featuring award-winning small-scale developer Briana Paxton!

Event Details

Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) will host a special discussion about “The Revitalization of Waters Avenue” on Thursday, August 15 at the HSF headquarters, located at 321 E. York St., as part of the 2024 Historic Savannah Foundation Lecture Series, “The People, Places and Stories That Define Savannah.” Attendees are invited to a wine reception at 5:30 p.m. The discussion will start at 6 p.m.

This event will feature local preservationist and award-winning small-scale developer Briana Paxton, who will discuss her role in redeveloping a neglected historic building on Waters Avenue and helping to restore this blighted corridor as a hub of local commerce. Through this locally-focused renovation project rooted in preservation best practices, Paxton has provided space for three small businesses, given new life to a historic structure and contributed to the revitalization of Savannah’s historic Waters Avenue corridor.

The revitalization of Waters Avenue officially began in 2015 when the City of Savannah launched a multi-million-dollar Streetscape Plan along Waters Avenue from Victory Drive to Wheaton Street. Improvements included the addition of brick sidewalks, stamped brick crosswalks, landscaping, neighborhood gateways and ornamental lighting.

In 2022, Paxton and fellow Savannah local Brad Baugh purchased a corner building located at 2409 Waters Avenue. The c.1930 building was originally constructed as part of the new Chatham Crescent neighborhood. Over time, numerous businesses occupied the building’s storefronts. In the 1970s, the building served as the Carousel Lounge, an African American disco and jazz bar known for hosting performances by prominent jazz musicians. The building was largely vacant from 1994 to 2002 and later served as a church.

After a meticulous restoration, the building reopened in 2023 with three small businesses, including Cast & Grey Botanical, The Stacks Bookstore and the soon-to-open Good Fortune Market. This renovation project, led by Paxton and her team of local professionals, was honored at the 2024 Historic Savannah Foundation Preservation Awards for demonstrating the highest level of excellence for preservation in Savannah and Chatham County.

Paxton, a long-time volunteer with HSF, was named the nonprofit organization’s Volunteer of the Year in 2022 for her efforts to support HSF’s affordable housing initiatives. Recently, Paxton examined the widespread impact of historic housing practices and shared her findings at TEDxSavannah 2024, where she served as a featured speaker and delivered an inspiring talk entitled “Converging Lines: Redlining and Zoning in Savannah, Georgia.” In addition to her local contributions, Paxton brings the preservationist voice to Congress as the Chairwoman of Preservation Action, a grassroots lobbying group dedicated to historic preservation.

Historic Savannah Foundation’s 2024 Lecture Series is open to the public. Reservations are recommended, as space is limited. Attendance is free for Historic Savannah Foundation members and $15 for non-members. Members and non-members may RSVP by emailing Kendall Graham at kgraham@myhsf.org or calling 912-233-7787, ext. 109.

Time

(Thursday) 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location

Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF)

321 E. York St. Savannah, GA 31401

Organizer

Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF)

kgraham@myhsf.org 321 E York St, Savannah, GA 31401

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