Revitalizing the Riverfront for Savannah
Hall, Olivia LaVon
Savannah, Georgia: Savannah College of Art and Design
Thesis (M. Arch.) -- Architecture
Savannah College of Art and Design -- Department of Architecture
Includes bibliographical references (pages 93-94).
"Historically, accessibility to water is what has driven the economical and physical health of urban centers. Just a century ago, the water was our main agent for travel, trade and industry. Populations on the riverfront were active and dynamic. Fishermen, sailors, and cruise ships alike occupied the docks. The boardwalk was a place of recreation and was also a stimulant for booming economies. Although our systems of travel have transformed over the past century, the riverfront still remains, with potential of re-defining the purpose of rivers and bays in modern cities, fitting the needs of current users. The question is how? River Street in Savannah attracts thousands of visitors each year. It has become the main hub of many city traditions, including Saint Patrick’s Day, which brings in nearly quadruple the city’s population annually. The problem is, River Street has become merely a place to see and not breathe. The authenticity once found in its’ bustling street, leisurely boardwalk, and purposeful docks has lost its true vitality. Savannah locals no longer spend time there, and tourists rarely stay. How can a place with such historical substance create new memories, stimulate the economy and become industrial again? Can the riverfront be revitalized as a destination for the tourist and local alike? This thesis intends to create a place that all kinds of people want to inhabit and feel. It will create spaces for children to run and play, for couples to mingle, and for travelers to meander. I am looking to provide a haven for the city of Savannah that is true to its character and functions as a new icon for its own cultural richness.
Keywords: place-making, public spaces, urban, Savannah, historic preservation, waterfront design, planning, revitalization
CHAIR: Reno, Judith
PDF (94 pages): illustrations (some color)
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