History Underfoot: How Street and Sidewalk Pavement Modernized Savannah
Proudly Sponsored by the Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association
DATE: Tuesday, January 24th, 2017, 7 p.m.
WHAT: Massie Heritage Center welcomes Dr. Robin Williams for an evening of history exploring the significance of Savannah’s street and sidewalk pavement. From the mid-19th century through to the 1920s, a revolution in street and sidewalk pavement helped modernize American cities, including Savannah. Municipal officials were motivated by a desire to make cities cleaner, healthier, safer and more efficient – that is, modern. But how each city tackled this challenge varied considerably. Savannah has preserved a wider variety and evolution of pavement types than any other American city and vividly reflects the impact of geographic location, economics, engineering priorities and social concerns on decisions about pavement. Yet, Savannah is not at the forefront of protecting this heritage under foot.
WHO: Robin B. Williams, Ph.D. teaches at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he founded the Department of Architectural History in 1995 and has chaired since. He specializes in the history of the built environment of the modern period in Europe and North America. Williams earned his B.A. in the History of Art at the University of Toronto and his M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation, “Rome as State Image: The Architecture and Urbanism of the Royal Italian Government, 1870-1900,” examined the transformation of Rome into the capital of modern Italy during the late nineteenth century. A chapter from his dissertation appeared in The Pantheon: From Antiquity to the Present, published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.
Since joining SCAD in 1993, Williams has made Savannah the focus of his research. From 1997 to 2006, he directed the online Virtual Historic Savannah Project, which received substantial funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Georgia Humanities Council. He is the lead author of a new architectural guidebook, Buildings of Savannah, the inaugural city guide in the Society of Architectural Historians’ Buildings of the United States series. His journal article on the role of historic street pavement in modernizing Savannah has led to his larger current study of the evolution of street and sidewalk pavement in cities across the country.
WHERE: Massie Heritage Center
207 East Gordon Street
Savannah, Ga. 31401
COST: FREE, refreshments served.
RSVP: fomlectureseries.eventbrite.com or 912-395-1600
Click here to register
Media Contact: Steven Smith, Steve.Smith@sccpss.com or 912-395-1604