SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Designed as a community gathering space to showcase the history of the neighborhood in which it resides, Yamacraw Art Park has taken 20 years to become a reality.
“But then the double whammy was once complete, in a short time it fell into disrepair, and it was clear the city was not fulfilling its obligation to maintain it,” said artist Jerome Meadows , who designed the park.
Meadows says that since 2017 the historic plaques along its walls have been repeatedly vandalized and eventually removed. Garbage often covered the green space and the fountain was broken.
Meadows says designating the park as a square could change all that.
Bob Spell agrees. He saw the park at its worst during a 2020 city tour and partnered with Meadows to make the city take notice.
“It’s taking a lot longer than I think, but we’re making progress and the end is in sight now,” Spell said.
Meadows and Spell admit that some repairs have already been made, such as replanting the landscaping and restarting the fountain. But they say if the city council changes Yamacraw Art Park to Yamacraw Square, it could finally get the same attention as many other green spaces in Savannah.
“I reject any sense that this is a low-income African-American community,” Meadows said. “Then why bother?” Because it’s a low-income African-American community, culture is all the more important.
The name change is on Thursday’s city council agenda.