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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Old Savannah Cotton Exchange

 
 
Old Savannah Cotton Exchange Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Stroud, January 2008
1. Old Savannah Cotton Exchange Marker
Inscription. The Savannah Cotton Exchange building was completed in 1887 during the era when Savannah ranked first as a cotton seaport on the Atlantic and second in the world. In its heyday as a cotton port over two million bales a year moved through Savannah. The Cotton Exchange was the center of activity in the staple which dominated this city's economic life before its evolution into a leading industrial seaport.

The Exchange was designed by the nationally-known Boston architect, William Gibbons Preston (1844-1910). His design won out in a competition participated in by eleven architects. The Exchange is believed to be one of the few structures in the world erected over an existing public street.

The beautiful iron railing around this grass plat, with panels featuring medallions of famous statesmen, authors and poets, once graced the ante-bellum Wetter House in Savannah.

The former Cotton Exchange is now the headquarters of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce, which cordially invites you to drop in for a visit.
 
Erected 1957 by Georgia Historical Society. (Marker Number 025-56.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
 
Location. 32° 4.84′ 
The Cotton Exchange image. Click for full size.
By Michael Stroud, January 2008
2. The Cotton Exchange
The old 1886 Cotton Exchange building where prices of cotton, lumber and turpentine were set for the world.
N, 81° 5.398′ W. Marker is in Savannah, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker is on Bay Street (State Highway 25) near Drayton Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Savannah GA 31401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old City Exchange Bell (here, next to this marker); Solomon's Lodge No. 1 F. & A.M Savannah, Georgia (a few steps from this marker); The Invention of the Cotton Gin (a few steps from this marker); Birthplace of the University Of Georgia (within shouting distance of this marker); Chatham Artillery's (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Chatham Artillery's (within shouting distance of this marker); The Chatham Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); Solomon's Lodge No. 1 F.& A.M. (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Savannah.
 
Regarding Old Savannah Cotton Exchange. The Cotton Exchange was long a symbol of the importance of the cotton industry to the city of Savannah. The building on Bay Street was originally called King Cottonís Palace because its Romanesque architectural style made it stand out amongst the other buildings nearby. Today the historic building is a Solomonís Masonic Lodge and is open to the public
Old Savannah Cotton Exchange Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 11, 2011
3. Old Savannah Cotton Exchange Marker
on special occasions.

Visitors to the Central River Street area can enjoy the splendid view of the exterior of the building and the griffin, a winged lion of mythology that stands in front surrounded by a fence with medallions of poets and presidents. This beautiful red terra cotta winged lion fountain sits in front of the old Savannah Cotton Exchange Building on Bay Street. The fountain was constructed in 1889.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .  City of Savannah. On April 16, 1903, the Georgia Society of Colonial Dames of America began a crusade to save the old City Exchange. In February, City Council announced their plans to demolish the building (erected 1799-c.1801) and replace it with a larger, modern structure to house the city governmentís offices. Councilís plans met with little resistance and most citizens were excited about the new building, reflecting little on what it would mean to the old Exchange, described by the Dames as “a silent witness of many notable events in the history of Savannah.” (Submitted on January 22, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. King Cotton
Antebellum Savannah was built around slavery and
The Cotton Exchange and the Griffin image. Click for full size.
By Michael Stroud, January 2008
4. The Cotton Exchange and the Griffin
agriculture, primarily the chief money crops of cotton Savannah Cotton Exchange and rice, and was one of the leading cotton-shipping ports in the world. By 1820 Savannah was the eighteenth largest city in the United States and had established its preeminence as an international shipping center, with exports exceeding $14 million. Cotton remained the principal export until the Civil War, when it made up 80 percent of the agricultural products shipped from Savannah.
    — Submitted January 22, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.

2. Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce is not located in the Old Cotton Exchange Building. It may have been there when the marker was erected, but it is now located across the street from the Cotton Exchange.
    — Submitted September 1, 2009, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

 
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & CommerceLandmarksNotable Buildings
 
Old Savannah Cotton Exchange image. Click for more information.
Historic American Buildings Survey
5. Old Savannah Cotton Exchange
Historic American Engineering Record HABS GA,26-SAV,79-1
Click for more information.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 22, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 14,364 times since then and 343 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 22, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   3. submitted on September 13, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4. submitted on January 22, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   5. submitted on June 11, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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