Revitalizing History: Savannah Neighborhood Action Plan (SNAP)
A New Era in Architectural Design and Community Building
DNA Workshop’s Savannah Neighborhood Action Plan (SNAP) stands as a testament to innovative urban revitalization. This ambitious project involved the transformation of 55 historic properties in Savannah’s Victorian district, intertwining modern living with rich history.
The Essence of SNAP: Reviving Historic Victorian Homes
At the heart of SNAP was the rehabilitation of grand Victorian homes, originally built around 1890 to house affluent families. These large, very ornate wood-clad Victorian homes had previously been converted into multifamily units. Maintaining their aesthetic integrity while adapting them for contemporary use was a cornerstone of the project.
Overcoming Historic Rehabilitation Challenges
The project’s initial phase presented numerous challenges, primarily due to the lack of existing building documentation. This necessitated detailed field work, including measurements and extensive photographic documentation on each unique house – of which no two were the same.
A Community-Centric Affordable Housing Approach
What sets SNAP apart is its approach to community integration. Unlike traditional low-income housing projects confined to city outskirts, SNAP dispersed subsidized multifamily units throughout the Victorian district. This blending of different economic strata within a single community was a groundbreaking step in urban development.
Historical Preservation and Modernization
Collaborating with the State Historic Preservation Office was crucial in ensuring that renovations complied with the standards for historic properties. This involved a delicate balance between preserving historic features and making the properties livable for new tenants. The project adeptly navigated these dual objectives, setting a precedent in historic preservation.
Timeline and Scope
Initiated in late 2018 and completed in January 2022, SNAP’s three-year journey was marked by meticulous planning and execution. Thankfully, the pandemic did not interfere or delay the work. However, each property presented unique challenges, from structural issues to compliance with historic preservation standards. The extensive timeframe underscores the project’s commitment to quality and detail.
Impact and Legacy
SNAP not only rejuvenated historic buildings but also redefined quality living standards in subsidized housing. The project’s completion brought a sense of fulfillment, as it significantly improved living conditions while preserving the historical essence of the Victorian district.
Our architect’s work on the Savannah Neighborhood Action Plan exemplifies a successful blend of historic preservation and modern urban development. It stands as a model for future projects aiming to revitalize historical districts while fostering inclusive and vibrant communities. Through SNAP, DNA Workshop has not only transformed buildings but also reinvigorated the heart of Savannah, blending past and present in a seamless tapestry of architectural excellence