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Davenport House Museum

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

323 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 3:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Davenport House Museum right when it opens or during the last entry to avoid the crowds and immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere of early 19th-century Savannah. Many locals recommend attending one of the evening events they host throughout the year for a unique and charming experience that feels like stepping back in time."

What is Davenport House Museum?

The Davenport House Museum is a treasured piece of history nestled in the heart of Savannah, Georgia. It stands proudly as a testament to the city's architectural heritage, a stunning example of Federal-style architecture that transports visitors back to the early 19th century. The house was built by master builder Isaiah Davenport as his family home and today serves as a museum, offering a glimpse into the past with its meticulously preserved rooms and period furnishings.

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As someone who's traced the cobblestones of Savannah's streets for years, I can tell you that the Davenport House isn't just a building; it's a portal to another era. There's an intimacy in its walls and a sort of whispered storytelling that happens as you step through each room. You're not merely visiting a house; you're uncovering layers of stories about the people who once called this place home.

History of Davenport House Museum

The history of the Davenport House Museum is as rich as the history of Savannah itself. Built in 1820 by Isaiah Davenport, a notable architect and builder of his time, the house originally served as both his residence and a demonstration of his building prowess. After Davenport's death, the house passed through various hands, serving different purposes, from a family home to a boarding house, and nearly faced demolition in the 1950s.

What saved the Davenport House was a groundbreaking act of historic preservation. In 1955, a group of concerned citizens formed the Historic Savannah Foundation specifically to purchase and restore the Davenport House, making it the first building saved by this now-prominent organization. The restoration of the Davenport House sparked a widespread historic preservation movement in Savannah, ultimately leading to the preservation of the city’s charming historic district.

The museum opened to the public in 1963 and has since been an important cultural and educational resource, interpreting the lifestyle of a middle-class Savannah family during the early 1800s. It’s fascinating to think that, without the intervention of local history enthusiasts, the Davenport House could have become just another forgotten page in history.

Why is Davenport House Museum Important?

The significance of the Davenport House Museum in Savannah goes beyond its brick and mortar. It stands as a pioneer of historic preservation in the city, symbolizing the community's commitment to celebrating and maintaining its rich past. More than that, the museum provides educational opportunities for visitors and locals alike, as it did for me, to step back in time and understand the social, economic, and domestic realities of the past.

It is also a testament to Isaiah Davenport's skill and has become one of the finest examples of Federal-style architecture in the South. On a grander scale, the Davenport House’s preservation set a standard and became a catalyst for the broader historic preservation movement within Savannah, which has saved countless other buildings from being lost to time and progress. The museum is a living example of the impact historic preservation can have on maintaining a city's character and heritage.

Moreover, the Davenport House Museum is important because it keeps the legacy of craftsmanship, community, and culture alive. Every little detail, from the ornate ironwork to the original plaster moldings and heart pine floors, tells a story of the hands that built them and the lives that unfolded around them. This place isn't just important for Savannah; it's a piece of American history preserved for future generations to learn from and admire.

Things to Do & See at Davenport House Museum

When you visit the Davenport House Museum, there’s a variety of sights and activities to experience. Taking a guided tour is a particular treat for history buffs and curious minds alike, as you’ll be walked through the house by knowledgeable guides who can share tidbits about the home's construction, the family's life, and the intricate restoration process that kept the spirit of the house alive.

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Each room within the Davenport House Museum is a carefully curated snapshot of the past. You can expect to see an impressive array of original and period-appropriate furnishings, decorative arts, and personal artifacts, all conveying a sense of authenticity that's rare in historic sites. The museum also routinely holds special events, from lectures and exhibits to cultural celebrations that give further insight into the period and the house's place within it.

Do take the time to stroll through the beautiful courtyard garden, an oasis of greenery that reflects the small, urban gardens of Savannah in the 19th century. It's been lovingly maintained by volunteers and is the perfect spot to reflect on everything you've seen. With the historical ambiance surrounding you and the scent of jasmine in the air, visiting the Davenport House isn't just an activity; it's an experience that will touch you, just as it has touched many before you.

Frequently asked questions

What is the history behind the Davenport House Museum?

The Davenport House Museum is a historic home that was built in 1820 by master builder Isaiah Davenport. It showcases a fine example of Federal-style architecture and gives visitors insights into early 19th century life in Savannah. The house was saved from demolition in 1955 by the Historic Savannah Foundation in their first act of preservation, which became a pivotal moment in the city's preservation movement.

What can visitors see at the Davenport House Museum?

Visitors to the Davenport House Museum can explore a range of historical artifacts, original architectural features, furniture from the early 19th century, and learn about the lifestyle of the Savannah residents during that period. The museum also provides educational tours that highlight the cultural and social history of the era.

Are there any special events or programs at the Davenport House Museum?

Yes, the Davenport House Museum often hosts a variety of events and programs including living history performances, lectures, seasonal events such as holiday decorations and themed tours, and sometimes even historical reenactments.

Is the Davenport House Museum accessible for visitors with disabilities?

While the historic nature of the Davenport House Museum presents some challenges for accessibility, efforts are made to accommodate visitors with disabilities. Potential visitors with accessibility concerns are encouraged to contact the museum in advance for specific information and assistance.

How can one purchase tickets to visit the Davenport House Museum, and what are the operating hours?

Tickets to the Davenport House Museum can typically be purchased either online through the museum's official website or at the museum's visitor center upon arrival. It is advisable to check the current operating hours and any potential ticket discounts or special offers online or by contacting the museum directly as operating hours and ticketing options may vary throughout the year.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

323 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 3:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps