Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, Savannah

Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, Savannah (must see)

The Owens-Thomas house is, like the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Jepson Center for the Arts, a museum building operated by the Telfair Museums. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, as one of the nation's finest examples of English Regency architecture.

The building itself was designed by William Jay, an English architect who was among the first professionally-trained architects working in the U.S. The residence was finished in 1819 for Richard Richardson and his family, who earned their money as cotton merchants and bankers. Unfortunately, their prosperity was short-lived: three years after the house was completed, the Richardsons lost their fortune and the house was sold. After being sold, it became a lodging house that saw several famous visitors, including the Marquis de Lafayette, until it was purchased again in 1830 by the mayor of Savannah. In 1951, the former mayor's granddaughter donated the building to the Telfair Museum.

The house has remained in excellent condition. Many of the exhibits feature the Owens family's former belongings, as well as antiques and curiosities dating back to the 1750s. The carriage house is the original carriage house that came with the residence. Inside, visitors can see one of the earliest urban slave quarters in existence. One notable feature of the house's construction is the use of Bath stone. This was to give it a sophisticated appeal that made it on par with the houses in Bath, England.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful home and furnishings, plus very knowledgeable tour guides; the history, culture, and social components are very well summarized/transmitted.
The juxtaposition between the slave quarters and the home is truly staggering and you leave with a better understanding of urban slavery.
You can get a pass to also see the Jepson Art Center and the Telfair Musem of Art for one price of around $20 in the space of a week.

Tip:
Tours go off every 15 minutes – try to go with a small group!

Opening Hours:
Sun, Mon: 12-5pm; Tue-Sat: 10am-5pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Savannah, Georgia within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters on Map

Sight Name: Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters
Sight Location: Savannah, USA
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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