For Immediate Release
Date: December 13, 2012
Citizens are invited this Saturday to ask questions of archeologists and get an up-close view of the archaeological dig under way next to City Hall – part of a project intended to help the City come up with answers for one of Savannah’s great architectural mysteries.
The City and Georgia Southern University will hold the first of several planned Public Work Days from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the 170-year-old vaults, known as the Cluskey Embankment Stores, located on the Drayton Street Ramp, directly east of Savannah City Hall on Bay Street.
Archeologists from Georgia Southern University, under contract with the City, began exploring the brick vaults in early November. Citizens are encouraged to come out and watch the Georgia Southern archeology team as they excavate the site. City of Savannah and Georgia Southern University staff will be available to answer questions about the project and archeology methods. Middle school, high school and college students interested in learning more about archeology will be allowed to assist the GSU archeology team as they screen the excavated dirt for artifacts.
The Cluskey Embankment Stores were completed in 1842 by contractors working for the City of Savannah. While the vaults have been used for parking over the past several decades, their historical use remains unclear. They are considered architecturally significant, and were included as contributing structures in our Historic District's National Historic Landmark designation in 1966, and National Register of Historic Places designation in 1969. They are one of the oldest publicly owned facilities in Savannah, predating City Hall by more than 60 years.
The hope is that this work, combined with extensive research of historical records, will help the City better tell the story of the Cluskey Embankment Stores, including how they were used and what types of goods were stored in them. Once complete, the City plans to install appropriate signage and interpretation to convey the site's historical significance, as well as its contribution to the larger Savannah story.
For more information, contact the Public Information Office at (912) 651-6410.