SAVE Oglethorpe Lane
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SAVE OGLETHORPE LANE
The City of Savannah entered into a Sales Contract with private developers that includes the Sale of historic Oglethorpe Lane between Habersham and Price.
Although no longer used as a public right-of-way Oglethorpe Lane’s historic configuration/use is still very much in existence outlined by granite curbing, rounded curb cuts, and historic brick paving.
Oglethorpe’s original Crawford Ward, 1841, has been badly disfigured by past City of Savannah decisions, some would say, centering around mid-century racial discrimination since Crawford Ward was predominately used by Savannah’s African-American population which included the adjacent section of Oglethorpe Lane being sold in the 50’s. Oglethorpe Lane between Habersham and Price portion was sold by the City to developers in 1985 for $63,000 (32 feet x 242 feet = 7,744 square feet of Citizen's Land).
Luckily, since selling the lane in 1985, the property has not been developed because now that the City again owns the Lane – they can Right a Wrong – and claim Oglethorpe Lane in perpetuity for the people. No longer is downtown Savannah desperate for development, and monetary value does not have to be the main consideration. The City purchased the site for $3 million (general funds, 2012), the existing contract is for around $5 million - there is room for financial concessions. What price do we put on our historic heritage?
Saving Oglethorpe Lane is especially important now that the National Park Service has categorized Savannah’s Historic Landmark status as “Threatened (Priority 1) List” due to a severe loss of integrity, based on 2 main reasons: the loss of Oglethorpe's original town plan and large-scale development. The City’s sale of the police parking lot which includes the sale of Oglethorpe Lane enables both and continues the destruction of our historic city.
By defining and forever controlling Oglethorpe Lane, the city re-establishes Oglethorpe's plan of 2 tything blocks separated by a Lane; thus, dividing the potential building mass and respecting the surrounding properties. The Lane would not be able to be built over or tunneled through.
The City of Savannah has an incredible opportunity and a moral responsibility to reclaim Oglethorpe Lane, re-establish Oglethorpe’s world renown plan, and further secure Savannah’s Landmark Status by amending the sales contract to Save & Protect in perpetuity, a lost piece of Savannah’s history for its Citizens.
Together we can SAVE Oglethorpe Lane.
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