This year, the Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) has created a new humanitarian award, the Historic Savannah Spirit Award. We are pleased to announce that our very own founder and CEO, Richard Kessler, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of this distinguished honor.

The process for selecting an honoree was organized around a strong set of criteria, including preservation efforts, good stewardship and contributions to the community. Nominated candidates were then voted on by HSF’s gala committee.

Richard Kessler is a Savannah native who is passionate about preserving his historic hometown. He has devoted his life to The Kessler Collection—a nationwide line of bohemian boutique hotels and properties. Under his guidance, The Kessler Collection has restored and revitalized iconic properties throughout the city’s historic district, breathing new life into their foundations. Notable properties include the Armstrong Mansion and Riverside Power Plant, both of which have undergone massive transformations in recent years. The Armstrong Mansion, now the Armstrong-Kessler Mansion, has been beautifully restored to its former Georgian glory and is available for private events. Riverside Power Plant, an iconic electrical plant of the 20th century, has been repurposed to create Plant Riverside District, a daring entertainment district on the Savannah riverfront.

In their consideration of Richard Kessler for this award, the board recognized his “dedication to the historic preservation of Savannah, the positive economic impact he has made to the city, and his embodiment of the Spirit of the Seven Founders of HSF,” according to HSF’s interim Executive Director Sue Adler. While his impressive list of historic properties and economic contributions gained him the nominee, it is his passionate dedication to historic Savannah that has distinguished Kessler as the most spirited member of the community.

We are honored to have him represent The Kessler Collection as he accepts this award at HSF’s gala dinner on October 19th, and we look forward to the continued restoration of historic Savannah.