Architectural Tours of Savannah
By Kipper Milsap
This walking tour has more Savannah history and local insights than you can shake a stick at. Even one covered in Spanish moss. Just when you think you know your city - every townhome, each brick, and all of their hidden stories - Jonathan Stalcup, downtown’s architectural intellectual, walks up and shows you a thing or two. Having lived and worked in downtown Savannah for ten years, I can admit to having a “been there, done that” mentality. To my surprise, I recently had the good fortune of stumbling onto one of his tours, and this local yokel got schooled.
Some friends of mine were visiting from Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, and the pleasant spring weather had us outside soaking it up. One of them mentioned an amazing tour he’d been on twice and suggested that we all take it. Typically, the desire to take the same historical tour three times is a quality I regard as highly suspicious (“was there a strip club along the way?” I wondered…). However, when I discovered the tour was led by my friend, Jonathan, not only was I not surprised but thrilled to finally have an excuse to take it! I had seen Jonathan pound the brick sidewalks of our Historic District for years, stopping here, pointing there, but never had an opportunity to check it out for myself. “Better late than never,” is phrase that I often turn (as I’m almost always late), but in this case I write of it with earnest.
Our dapper guide began the tour in Chippewa Square, one of my favorites, and led us down the streets of Savannah. He explained the history of the Hostess City through its architecture, showing us the style of homes built when Oglethorpe dropped anchor, through the Federal and Victorian eras, up to our Modern and Post-Modern structures. I’d hate to spoil your fun by telling you all of his secrets, but his knowledge was humbling for a know-it-all like me. Visitors will appreciate the tour for its thoroughness and scope, as they are lead through squares, past cemeteries, around blocks, and back again. Locals will finally know the proper history of the structures and cites we’ve become accustomed to passing without notice. In the end I gained a deeper appreciation for the town that I already loved, and got some phenomenal exercise. Side note to the divas: leave your heels at home, girls. These sidewalks are deadly.
You can visit Jonathan’s website here where you can purchase tickets and even take a gander at some of his property listings. Not only a smooth talker and real estate guru, this over-achiever wrote an amazing book that walks you through the rest of our town. Want a customized tour for your particular architectural inclining? Jonathan is on top of that, too, with tailor-made tours for groups of 15 or more. ArchitecturalSavannah.com
"Kipper (Kyle Patrick) Millsap is a Southern transplant from the good ol’ Midwest. He moved to Savannah to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, and after graduating began working for the college full-time. He is currently the Sales and Marketing Manager for Working Class Studio, a product development venture of SCAD. In his off hours he works as a freelance writer, stylist, and artist. You can follow his woodsy and artsy adventures on his blog at www.kippermillsap.blogspot.com, a dandy man’s guide to duds, décor, and the great outdoors."
Kipper Millsap – kippermillsap.blogspot.com - @kippermillsap on