In 2004 the Gentrification Task Force identified the Thomas Square neighborhood as one of five Savannah neighborhoods undergoing effects of gentrification. Their conclusion is based on a set of primary indicators including, but not limited to, increases in household income and increases in home values. Through these seemingly natural processes, gentrification can undermine a community’s social and economic fabric often reducing the community’s cultural diversity.
I do not take a stance for or against gentrification, but acknowledge its existence and potential impacts, both positive and negative. This project serves as in inquiry into the gentrification issue, and in the fall of 2009 I sought to visually document to compose a portrait of Thomas Square, highlighting its cultural diversity, its evolution from past to present and the underlying relationship between the people and the community. It is an effort to define a place.