The prime force behind the restoration of Savannah's historic institutional buildings is the Savannah College of Art and Design. Founded 25 years ago, SCAD began in the armory in the Historic District. As the college expanded, it continued to acquire and restore individual buildings across the Historic District and in the Victorian District to the south. SCAD now owns 2 million square feet of space in 50 buildings. You can visit the buildings online through this link. (This page has links to a brief description for each of SCAD's buildings, and many of the building descriptions have a further link to a website with more detailed information.) SCAD's inventory includes a '60s motel now used as a residence hall, a department store that serves as the library, an art moderne movie theatre that serves as the school auditorium, a diner, and the old county jail, which houses the athletic department and the English as a Second Language program.

A college typically wants a large contiguous campus, isolated from the rest of the world and fully under its control. In Tulsa, college campus development has relied heavily on urban renewal. The City of Tulsa promised to acquire 240 acres for the campus of the University Center of Tulsa (now OSU-Tulsa). Greenwood had already been demolished to form the core of the campus; the western portion of the campus has been acquired by demolition of homes on Standpipe Hill overlooking downtown. Many of these homes were two-story, of the sort and vintage that you find in North Maple Ridge and Brady Heights. The University of Tulsa has also enjoyed the help of the city's power of eminent domain to acquire the property of homeowners unwilling to sell.

By acquiring and adapting buildings across the Historic District, SCAD has integrated its campus with the surrounding community, reused historic institutional buildings that would have been unsuited for residential or commercial use, and added 24/7 life to Savannah's downtown, as SCAD's nearly 6,000 students go between dorm rooms, classrooms, studios, and shopping. The approach to campus-building is in perfect harmony with the school's mission, providing to its students a responsible example they can follow throughout their careers as architects, designers, and city planners.

(Here's a large PDF map showing the location of SCAD's buildings.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 21, 2003 11:24 PM.

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