The Starland District, an artsy neighborhood named after a now-defunct dairy, is a gem that may not pop up on all the tourist guides and it’s definitely not included on other trolley tours.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the Starland Dairy was one of the dairies supplying Savannahians with milk. It was brought into the city from milk processing plants located in what is now Pooler. The building— a distinctive structure with a red star— took up two blocks on Bull Street in between 40th and 41st Street. It also included several buildings surrounding the main dairy. Local Savannahians got their calcium delivered to their homes from milk-carts led by horses. (If you’ve got a Starland glass milk bottle, hang on to it – they’re collector items now!)
Sadly, while the Dairy was the heart of the district during the first half of the century, it fell upon hard times as Savannahians began to move out of the city’s center into suburbs. The Dairy closed in the late eighties. At that point many of the buildings in the neighborhood were empty or condemned.
In 1999, John Deaderick and Greg Jacobs, graduates of SCAD’s historic preservation program, began buying and restoring property around the Starland Dairy with the purpose of creating an arts district and rebooting the residential and commercial potential.
Their vision has grown. Today Starland is a vibrant neighborhood featuring “only in Savannah” boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and breweries. You might see a porch ceiling painted blue to keep the evil spirits away right next to a vibrant public mural. It’s exciting to watch young entrepreneurs creatively incorporate the neighborhood’s history into modern offerings.