“A must-see every year! This tour provides me the opportunity to experience the historic charm and beauty of Savannah’s finest homes.”
– Teresa Pace, Jacksonville, Florida
Tour of Homes
Saturday, October 20, 2018
St. Vincent’s Academy will once again host this popular self-guided tour of the original 1845 Convent building and several private homes in Savannah’s Historic District.
This year’s Fall Tour of Homes promises to be a fascinating look inside six residences in Savannah’s Historic District and the original 1845 Convent building. Some of the homes reflect their origins in architectural style, interiors and furnishings, while others offer an exciting, eclectic approach to downtown living.
Certainly, the centerpiece of the tour is the elegant Tea, which is served on the grounds of the Convent. St. Vincent’s Academy students will serve a delicate repast of tea, homemade confections, and traditional tea sandwiches.
This event is held annually to benefit the preservation of the historic 1845 convent building. Come see for yourself why native Savannahians and out-of-towners alike say this annual fall event is “the best tour in Savannah.”
2018 Homes: 16 East Jones Street
12 East Jones Street
14 West Harris Street
20 West Harris Street
905 Jefferson Street
14 W Macon St
207 East Liberty Street (Convent)
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Tour Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tea Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Onsite docents will provide history and answer questions.
NEW CITY OF SAVANNAH PARKING REGULATIONS: Parking is free SOUTH of Liberty Street and on Liberty Street on Saturdays. However, metered street parking is required NORTH of Liberty Street on Saturdays. You may download the City of Savannah’s parking app to pay for metered parking at https://www.savannahga.gov/2515/Parking-Meters You may also use the traditional coin meters and debit/credit meters.
Most of the tour sites are NOT wheelchair accessible and may feature high stoops with steps to climb.
In order to protect these historic sites, no high-heeled shoes, strollers or photography will be allowed.
Self-guided walking tour. A municipal shuttle bus runs throughout the downtown historic district. For specific bus route information, visit: www.catchacat.org.
St. Vincent’s Academy (SVA) reserves the right to cancel touring of any site due to unforeseen circumstances on the day of the tour. SVA and participating tour homeowners assume no liability for any personal injury or loss incurred at any site. SVA also reserves the right to refuse admittance to any person at any time.
MAP OF TOUR:
Before September 30, $40 per person for online and phone orders.
After September 30, $45 per person for online and phone orders.
Three Ways to Purchase Tickets in Advance:
- Buy Tickets
- Call (912) 236-5505 for credit card purchases and information. Tickets will be held at the tour ticket office for pickup, which will open Friday from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Purchase tickets at any a number of business: Saints and Shamrocks, 309 Bull Street
E. Shavers, bookseller, 325 Bull Street
Candler Wellness Center, 5353 Reynolds Street
St. Joseph’s Gift Shop, 11705 Mercy Boulevard
- Call (912) 236-5505 for further ticketing information.
To purchase tickets on the day of the tour, go to the tour ticket office in Walsh Hall at St. Vincent’s Academy, located on the corner of Lincoln and Harris Streets, between 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Cash, checks and credit cards accepted.
Please allow three and a half to four hours to visit all tour sites.
16 E. Jones Street
This 1847 Greek Revival building, known as the Eliza Jewett house, was once owned by Joe Odom, of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fame. Renovations included alterations of the door and window openings and removal of non-historic stucco from the 1960s. Eliza Jewett was a prosperous real estate developer in the mid-19th Century, which makes it fitting that a prominent female real estate broker now occupies the home. This luxuriously appointed town-home features six bedrooms and seven and one half baths with personal elevator access to all floors and an attached two-car garage.
12 E. Jones Street
The house at 12 East Jones Street is the center unit of a three unit tenement building built for Jacob Cohen in 1889. It is the newest building on this block of Jones Street. All the others are of pre-Civil War vintage. In the 1890s, the term “tenement” did not have the pejorative connotation it has today; it simply meant the three connected houses were built as rental units for Mr. Cohen. The classical bay windows with large window panes and the coal burning fireplaces with “Eastlake” mantles were considered quite stylish and modern in the gaslight era of the 1890s.
14 W. Harris Street
This townhouse and its twin, the mirror-image townhouse adjacent to it, were designed by renowned architect, Charles Cluskey. The home was built for the sisters Eugenia and Louise Kerr in 1842 by their father. This gracious home was renovated in 1986 by architect, Juan Bertotto. The 5,663 square foot home has many of the original architectural features , plaster moldings, a fourth floor skylight, black marble mantles in the living room and dining rooms, heart pine floors throughout and heart pine beams on the ground level. Faux paintings with tromp I’oeil decorate the walls of the kitchen and atrium. The five bedroom, four bedroom home also features a carriage house and private garden.
20 W. Harris Street
The original part of this 8,800 square foot house was built in 1842 for Eliza Ann Jewett, who was a rarity for a woman of her time. A strong-willed widow, Mrs. Jewett, overcame social probations to become a successful real-estate developer. This home has five stories and was designed in the Federal Style of architecture. There are a total of five bedrooms, six baths, plus two powder rooms. There is an abundance of Savannah gray brick, and beautiful heart pine floors throughout. The fireplaces in the parlor and dining room are original and made of marble. The carriage house is now a two-car garage with a full office above. There is a balcony off the second floor of the carriage house which overlooks the courtyard of the main house.
In 1991, there was a major renovation which included a four-story addition. The house has been decorated by its present owner in a traditional fashion, with pockets of eclectic spaces designed for comfort.
905 Jefferson Street
This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home is located steps from beautiful Forsyth Park. One of our newer additions to the Historic District, was purchased by a graduate of the St. Vincent’s class of 2005. She and her husband are both Savannah natives and enjoy living in and spending fun times in the Historic District, whether it be picnicking in Forsyth Park or enjoying all of the wonderful restaurants the area has to offer.
Carefully mixing midcentury classics, 19th century American antiques, contemporary art, and rich textures, this home embodies a metropolitan elegance that feels casual and current. You will find yourself surrounded by neutral elements and bold color, as well as an expansive art collection including works by Mary Lawrence Kennickell, Elena Madden, Tiffani Taylor, Betsy Cain, Katherine Sandoz, David Kaminsky, Michael Smith, Kurtis Schumm and so many more. Your eyes will also be drawn to the heart pine floors, worldly antiques, handcrafted model ships, as well as a custom dining room table commissioned by Roddy Ledlie. The landscaped courtyard provides a private and comfortable space for cookouts with family and friends. This home is not to be missed!
207 E. Liberty Street – Convent
St. Vincent’s Convent was designed by the noted architect Charles Cluskey and built in 1845 on land that was once farmland. Tour participants will see the Convent’s private chapel, parlor, grotto area, and halls, which feature beautiful stained glass, sacred statuary and paintings. To guide tourists along the way, there will be several “nuns” (Academy students) wearing the three major traditional habits of the Sisters of Mercy spanning from the 1840s through the 1970s.
The collection of memorabilia displayed in Heritage Hall documents Savannah’s history against the backdrop of an all-girls education at the world’s oldest Mercy high school in continuous existence.
14 W Macon Street, Green Meldrim House
Headquarters of General William T. Sherman
Upon the invitation of the owner, Mr. Charles Green, General William Tecumseh Sherman used this house as his headquarters when the Federal army occupied Savannah during the Civil War. It was at this time (December, 1864) that General Sherman sent his famous telegram to President Lincoln offering him the City of Savannah as a Christmas gift. It read: “I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton. – W.T. Sherman, Major General
The Green-Meldrim House is one of the South’s finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture. This Savannah treasure, designed by Charles Norris, features a beautiful cast iron portico at the entrance and a covered porch on three sides of the house surrounded by ornate ironwork. The most expensive 19th century house in Savannah, its unique crenellated parapet and “oriel” windows add to the gothic flavor. Numerous original adornments remain in the interior of the home, including American black walnut woodwork on the main floor, elaborate crown moldings, marble mantles, matching chandeliers and large mirrors in gold leaf frames brought from Austria. The Green-Meldrim House features an elegant curved stairway with a skylight above and oriel windows on the east side of the house which bring in light from three sides.
It is considered one of the most elaborate houses in Savannah and in 1976 was declared a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior. In 1943, the house was bought by St. John’s Episcopal Church (next door) and continues its preservation to this day.