Andrew Low came to Savannah from Scotland, in 1829 at the age of 16, to work for his uncle’s cotton exporting business. Proving himself to be both a hard worker and intellectually able, over time he became partner and then director of the Savannah operations. Not just a shrewd businessman, his reputation as a man of honor was known far and wide. When imprisoned for collaboration with the Confederacy during the Civil War, this influence saw him released on probation after only seven months.
The Andrew Low house is Savannah’s premier museum house, preserving silver, porcelain, paintings, prints, photographs, and archival materials relating to the Low family, and Georgia History. One of the finest collections of period furnishings, the collection includes examples of works by some of America’s most prestigious furniture makers.
Neo-classic in style, the building was designed by renowned New York architect, John Norris, who came to Savannah to design the Custom House on Bay Street, then remained, adding many beautiful buildings to the city. Combining Grecian and Italian details, the house is opulently decorated within, featuring carved woodwork and plaster cornices. The exterior displays a contrasting restraint with its smooth stucco and sandstone entry. The ironwork balconies are unrivaled in Savannah.
The brick-walled garden in the rear of the home was installed in 1848 and is one of three original 19th-century gardens remaining in the city. The distinctive, hourglass-shaped beds have been continuously maintained for 160 years; first by the family and later the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia.
The Andrew Low House was host to several important visitors during its original owner’s lifetime, including such luminaries as former commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee. William Makepeace Thackery was a regular guest and wrote of the house and its grounds: “the most comfortable quarters I have ever had in the United States.”
But That’s Not All …
The history of the Andrew Low House does not end with the great man. In 1886 Andrew Low’s son married Juliette Gordon, or Daisy, as she liked to be known. Daisy went on to found the Girl Scouts of America, thus tying that great, American institution to the home’s illustrious history as well. The Andrew Low carriage house at 330 Drayton Street became the Girl Scout First Headquarters. It is open to the public and contains a wonderful collection of Girl Scout memorabilia. (read more about her on our blog, here)
Guided tours of the Andrew Low House are recommended!
For more information:
Andrew Low House www.andrewlowhouse.com (912) 233-6854
The Girl Scout First Headquarters: (912) 232-8200