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City of Savannah Public Communications

Posted on: April 22, 2021

Springfield Terrace School, Water Works Pump House nominated to National Register of Historic Places

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Springfield Terrace School, Savannah Water Works Pump House nominated to the National Register of Historic Places

SAVANNAH (April 22) – The City of Savannah through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Historic Preservation Division has nominated Savannah's Springfield Terrace School and the Savannah Water Works Pump House to the National Register of Historic Places. The Georgia National Register Review Board will consider the nominations at its May 21 meeting, which falls during National Historic Preservation Month.

The public can submit comments or questions about the nomination through May 18 to:
Dr. David Crass
Division Director and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
Historic Preservation Division
60 Executive Park South, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

The National Register of Historic Places is the federal government's official list of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. National Register-eligible properties must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation, including being old enough to be considered historic, generally at least 50 years old. Additionally, the property must:

  • Be associated with events, activities, or developments that were important in the past; or
  • Be associated with the lives of people who were important in the past; or
  • Be significant in the areas of architectural history, landscape history, or engineering; or
  • Have the potential to yield information about our past through archaeological investigation.

Springfield Terrace School, located at 707 Hastings St. in Savannah, was built in 1926. The elementary school, later known as Pearl Lee Smith School and Oglethorpe Charter Academy, historically served the surrounding communities of Springfield Terrace, Water Works, Brickyard, Carver Village, Flatland Village and Collat’s Quarters. It is the only surviving example of the popular one-story public school building type constructed during the early 20th century in Chatham County to educate rural students living on the outskirts of the county's incorporated areas. The school is significant for its association with African American education in Chatham County. It is a good example of the continuing influence of the Rosenwald Fund school program and its standardized school plans in local communities to improve schools for African Americans across the South during the early 20th century.

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The Savannah Water Works Pump House, located at 1204 W. Gwinnett St. in Savannah, is a Romanesque Revival-style pump house built in 1892. It's the only surviving resource from the late 19th-century industrial municipal facility developed to distribute clean water to properties throughout Savannah. Its innovative use of emerging technologies in municipal water distribution and efforts by the City of Savannah to promote the welfare of its citizens through the construction and use of the most advanced technology available resulted in a city-wide plan to provide clean water to all. 

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In addition, the city will also be conducting a cultural resources survey of buildings and properties within the Canal District to identify historically significant resources starting in May.

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