The Carver Village Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on January 24, 2019.
The Carver Village Historic District is a residential neighborhood located in an industrial area cradled by I-16, west of downtown Savannah. The district is bounded by West Gwinnett Street, Allen Avenue, Blun Avenue, and Collat Avenue. The nomination was sponsored by the Carver Village Neighborhood Association, and nomination materials were prepared by the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission.
In 1940 the Savannah Census of Housing General Summary painted a bleak picture of dwelling conditions for the city’s African American population, noting that three-quarters of African American households were without running water, flush toilet, bathtub, shower or any combination of these, and 42 percent of African American renters were living in overcrowded conditions. The end of World War II brought additional housing demand statewide, and the Carver Village neighborhood was developed beginning in 1948 in an effort to answer the Savannah African American population’s acute need for quality housing. The densely developed district is composed of narrow rectangular lots fronting straight, grid-patterned streets bordered by concrete sidewalks. Lots exhibit deep setbacks with varied informal landscaping including lawns, mature trees, and foundation plantings. Concrete walks and non-historic concrete driveways are common. The district is overwhelmingly residential, composed primarily of compact one-story houses constructed of concrete block, some with stucco or brick veneer. House types represented in the district include American Small Houses and ranch houses. Houses are characterized by minimal stylistic detailing, if any: bargeboard gables, exposed rafters, and cast-iron porch detailing are most common.
The Carver Village Historic District is significant in the area of community planning and development and black ethnic heritage as a good representative example of an FHA-approved neighborhood developed exclusively for African Americans during the mid-20th century. The district is a late example of the FHA’s initial overt segregationist housing policies, as the administration formally stopped insuring properties subject to racially restrictive covenants in 1949. In the area of architecture, the Carver Village Historic District is significant for its intact collection of residential types popular throughout Georgia from the 1940s through the 1960s. House types represented in the district include American Small Houses and three subtypes of the ranch house. Celebrated Savannah architect Cletus W. Bergen, AIA, with associate architect John Tassey, AIA designed the district’s earliest houses, and at least 37 of those extant today can be attributed to him.
The National Register of Historic Places is our country's official list of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. The National Register provides formal recognition of a property's architectural, historical, or archaeological significance. It also identifies historic properties for planning purposes, and insures that these properties will be considered in the planning of state or federally assisted projects. National Register listing encourages preservation of historic properties through public awareness, federal and state tax incentives, and grants. Listing in the National Register does not place obligations or restrictions on the use, treatment, transfer, or disposition of private property.
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