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Historic Savannah church with ties to the civil rights movement demolished

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 4:46 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A historic church tied to the civil rights movement was torn down Wednesday just outside of Savannah’s Historic District downtown.

Locals say they’re upset that this building won’t be around to teach future generations.

“You are witnessing history being torn down.”

Dr. Jamal Touré describes what he’s watching. A church from the late 19th century that played an important role, ripped apart.

“It is the erasure of black history in Savannah,” he said “It was Savannah that was the center for Civil Rights in the state of Georgia.”

Ryan Arvay from the Historic Savannah Foundation says this is happening to a bunch of old structures.

“Savannah has a lot of historic districts but only a handful of them are actually protected,” Arvay said.

He says if it was a few hundred feet across the street, it would likely be more protected.

“Just by virtue of it being outside of the historic district no one asked the right questions, no one looked at the history, no one discussed the age of the building or the role that it played in the community.”

It’s important to note the City of Savannah says they do not own this building or land, so they are not the ones conducting the demolition. We are working to contact the owner of the property to ask about the decision to demolish the building and what the plans are for the site.

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