SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – Just about anyone who lives in Savannah has seen the giant globe on the Southside. However, News 3 has learned plans for the new development could mean the end of the six decades-old landmark.
The 1950s era globe sits on the corner of Derenne Avenue and White Bluff Road. It is considered a fixture in the Savannah community, but it’s not technically a historic landmark.
The Chatham-County Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission voted Sept. 1 to develop the area. The plan is to build a Parker’s gas station, quick-serve restaurant and coffee shop. However, Alderman Palumbo told News 3 the globe will not be demolished on his watch, in his district.
“There’s no historic protection for this landmark today. It could be leveled and taken out by right, but we have a commitment from a local and local business to seize the value in this and the possibilities,” said Palumbo.
Palumbo said he spoke with Greg Parker on Monday who has pledged to work around the structure or gift it to the City of Savannah. However, moving the globe will present an environmental challenge.
The globe was built by the Savannah Gas Company in the late 1950s. Palumbo believes there is still natural gas and gas pipes on-site, and if the site is redeveloped, it will require major environmental remediation.
He wants to ensure this construction work will not release something potentially hazardous for residents. Palumbo said they may need to disassemble the structure to transfer it to a new location.
One idea is for the globe to sit in the new arena. However, some residents are concerned removing the globe will remove its iconic landmark status.
Gillian Seymour moved to the Savannah area 26 years ago. She said it was “pointless” to move the globe, and that its relocation would make the structure “meaningless.” A petition is currently on Change.org to build the development around the globe or move it.
Palumbo said he will do whatever he can to save the globe. The project is still in the early stages of development.