2 neighborhoods will get grant money from Historic Savannah Foundation

    Cuyler-Brownsville and the Blueberry Hill-Magnolia Park neighborhoods to receive grant money from the Historic Savannah Foundation. (Katie Filling WTGS)

    The Historic Savannah Foundation is giving grants to two neighborhoods to survey the areas.

    The Blueberry Hill-Magnolia Park neighborhood wants to become historically recognized on a national and local level. HSF is matching the city of Savannah's $2,000 grant to help start the process.

    Cuyler-Brownsville has been recognized, both nationally and locally, since the early 2000s. HSF President and CEO Daniel Carey said they are matching the city and giving the neighborhood about $2,800 to do an updated survey to find out what else they could save and improve.

    Judy Hunter has lived in Cuyler-Brownsville her entire life. She said people don't take the pride in it that they used to.

    "The neighborhood was so clean and people took more interest in it. So I'd love to see it come back. I don’t think there's anything I'd love to see more than our neighborhood come up again," said Hunter.

    Jackie Taylor lives right in the middle of two abandoned homes. She said she feels angry and frustrated.

    "Find someone who has the historical money and restore these homes and bring up the value of the neighborhood," said Taylor.

    This grant isn't doing exactly that, but Carey said it's a small step toward doing that ultimately.

    "An updated survey and grant is going to build knowledge and information, build sensitivity, spur more investment in the area and get people energized about putting money back into their properties," said Carey.

    The people who live in the Blueberry Hill-Magnolia Park area said people have lived there for generations and they want to preserve the neighborhood by becoming historically recognized.

    "I think it's important to keep our architecture for this time period here and keep it looking as authentic as it can. It's a great neighborhood to live in," said Deborah Munyas, an area resident.

    Carey said both of these grants will help these neighborhoods a lot in the long run.

    "I think they realized they’re not being protected as much as they like and this is a great first step towards doing that," said Carey.

    He said the process for Blueberry Hill-Mangolia Park will take about a year. The information gathered in the survey will be sent to Atlanta, Washington D.C. and then the National Parks Service.

    Cuyler-Brownsville will still need a bit more state funding combined with the Historic Savannah Foundation and City of Savannah's money.

    Carey said the surveys are tentatively planned to start in the summer.

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