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Business EVENTS

Jan. 7 - Third Annual Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend to be held Feb. 28 - March 2

Category: Business Events

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 7, 2019 - For the third consecutive year the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Georgia is orchestrating what is becoming a defining Savannah event. The event is a two-day series of lectures, tours, object valuations, glittering gala, and a cocktail reception celebrating Savannah’s robust historic preservation efforts and its best-in-class examples of American architecture. The Society is a registered 501c3 organization and all proceeds from the events benefit two of the city’s nineteenth-century treasures, The Andrew Low House and The Green-Meldrim House. 

This year’s theme, Antiques, Architecture, and All That Jazz, focuses on homes that were social hubs when Savannah ushered in its age of Jazz. The weekend’s Special Event features a presentation on an inaugural tour of the renewed Armstrong-Kessler Mansion, which is Savannah’s largest historic home. The renewal was led by owner and luxury hotelier, Mr. Richard C. Kessler, and the home is considered to be one of the country’s finest examples of the Italian Renaissance Revival style of architecture. The tour will be a special exclusive experience for all attendees as this private residence will not be open to the general public. Guests will be treated to a luncheon and talk with lead architect, Christian Sottile, and interior designer, Chuck Chewning, at the exclusive Oglethorpe Club, followed by docent-led tours of the home and a jazz reception in the new Italianate gardens. 

The keynote speaker for the event is world-famous interior designer, Carleton Varney, Owner and President of the fabled Dorothy Draper & Co. firm. Mr. Varney will be present at a cocktail reception and book signing as well as a talk on Dorothy Draper’s stunning work in the age of Jazz. Mr. Varney not only carries on the tremendous legacy of Dorothy Draper, but also has served at the White House for the Jimmy Carter administration, and as lead designer for the Greenbrier and Grand Hotels. He is now serving as a Presidentially appointed member of the National Council for the Arts.

Of his engagement for the weekend, Varney says, “I am thrilled to be coming to one of the prettiest cities in the world—most designers don’t do pretty anymore! Surely Mrs. Draper would agree.” 

Savannah’s rich history of Jazz music is one of the city’s great untold legacies. From famed lyricist, Johnny Mercer, to performances by Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and hometown artists Ben Tucker, Ben Riley, and James Moody, Savannah can boast a Jazz history as deep and important as that of New Orleans. A presentation on this great history will be given by Paula S. Fogarty, Executive Director of the Coastal Jazz Association, and Director of the Annual Savannah Jazz Festival.

“In Savannah’s jazz heyday in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, it boasted over 190 jazz venues! Mind you, jazz was just as comfortable in a brothel as it was in a church,” says Fogarty. 

Augmenting these key events are tours of the Andrew-Low and Green-Meldrim Houses along with the St. John’s Church Sanctuary. 

The highly-coveted opportunities to have personal objects valuated by TV Celebrity antiques and art appraisers will be ongoing throughout the Saturday What’s In Your Attic? event. 

Event Chairman, Mary Lee Stevens says, “We are looking forward to growing this event in its third year to highlight and celebrate Savannah’s tremendous historic preservation work as a great example for other cities to follow. The number of visitors from outside Savannah is forecast to increase greatly this year. We are truly looking forward to the amazing line-up of events in 2019!” 

Tickets and information are available on 

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