Rated one of the top US cities to visit by Travel + Leisure, and one of the best small cities by Condé Nast Travel Readers, Savannah was founded in 1733, designed around 24 historic squares. With its magisterial live oaks entangled in Spanish moss and nineteenth-century architecture, this southern town was preserved for its beauty by Sherman during the civil war and is a must-see destination.
Build an extra day or two into your visit to explore its history, botanical beauty, and urban landscape, or add excursions to Palmetto Bluff, Beaufort, Charleston, or St. Simons and Jekyll Islands, all within a short drive of Savannah.
The majority of our lectures, discussions, and events will take place on this six-acre campus in the Savannah National Historic Landmark District. Recently restored, this historic site has important foundations. It was once the site of the Trustees’ Garden, one of the first public agricultural experimental gardens in America, begun in 1733. Plants from the West Indies, South America, and Europe were tested as potential agricultural commodities for this new-world settlement, including indigo, cotton, silk, wine, oranges, and peaches. However, politics, several crop failures and cold weather led to the Gardens’ failure.
Between 1873 and 1902 the site was transformed by an iron and gas company that built a brick foundry and constructed a three-story entrance pavilion with a mansard roof and cupola, a two-story pattern shop, and a basilica-shaped steel-framed machine shop, which will be the central setting for our Symposium. All of these buildings have recently been restored with state-of-the-art facilities and an open surrounding green space that will provide ample, and aesthetically enriching, environment for our activities.
The final Gala will be held in Telfair Square, one of the six original squares laid out in 1733 according to the urban plan by humanitarian James Oglethorpe. The square is named after Mary Telfair, founder of the Telfair Academy, the first public museum in the South and the first museum in the United States founded by a woman. Today, the museum has two buildings on Telfair Square, the Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center, whose historic and contemporary spaces, and exhibitions will be open to our participants to enjoy and explore during our final night bash.
A stately Regency-style mansion, the Telfair Academy was built in 1819 by the young English architect William Jay. It contains three nineteenth-century period rooms and houses nineteenth- and twentieth- century American and European art from the museum’s permanent collection including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts. On its exterior stand five monumental stone sculptures of Michelangelo, Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael, and Phidias, along with busts of Aristotle and Alexander Humbolt, which reflect the Academy's nineteenth-century origins as an institution of arts and sciences.
Built by Israeli-Canadian Moshe Safdie in 2006, the Jepson Center is a harmonious lofty contemporary structure that houses rotating exhibitions from the permanent collection and national museums in multiple galleries. During your visit you will have the opportunity to view Collecting Impressionism: Telfair’s Modern Vision, The Prints of Erik Desmazières, Launching Savannah’s Art Scene: Founders of the Savannah Art Club, Machines of Futility: Unproductive Technologies, The Journey is Mine: Chapter One, and TechSpace: Second Nature.
We encourage you to stay in the heart of historic Savannah: that is, between the Savannah River in the north and Forsyth Park in the south, and between Montgomery Street on the west and Broad Street in the east. From hotels to bed-and-breakfasts to Airbnbs, there are dozens of possibilities to choose from; here below are a few suggestions.