Historic Savannah Foundation hosts annual gala, honors preservationist

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Despite the region feeling the effects of a tropical storm, the Historic Savannah Foundation held its annual gala in a tent in Forsyth Park on Saturday, October 19. 

The wet, mushy grass was a stark contrast to the formal attire worn by the guests, but attendees seemed to take the circumstances in stride.  

The gathering is the non-profit’s largest fundraiser and all 500 tickets sold prior to the event. Proceeds help the organization with its mission of saving buildings that define Savannah’s past.

This year, HSF gave out a newly-created award called the Historic Savannah Spirit Award to Richard Kessler. He’s a Savannah native who owns a collection of boutique hotels, including several in Savannah.

Richard Kessler (center) accepts the Historic Savannah Spirit Award, a replica of the Davenport House, the first home saved by HSF in 1955. It was created by Savannah jewelry designer, Chad Crawford (far right), who owns the store 13 Secrets in downtown Savannah.
(Photo courtesy: HSF)

The HSF board chose Kessler for his dedication to historic preservation and the positive economic impact he’s made to the city. One of Kessler’s notable restorations is the Armstrong House, a mansion that he now uses as his residence.

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