Old Cotton Exchange

The Savannah Cotton Exchange building was completed in 1887 during the era when Savannah ranked first as a cotton seaport on the Atlantic and second in the world. In her prime, Savannah was a major cotton exporter with over two million bales of cotton a year moving down the Savannah River by ship to the Atlantic Ocean and the many markets beyond. The Cotton Exchange was at the very heart of activity with this staple which dominated this city's economic life before its evolution into a leading industrial seaport.

The Exchange was designed by the nationally-known Boston architect, William Gibbons Preston. His design won out in a competition participated in by eleven architects. The Old Cotton Exchange is believed to be one of the few structures in the world erected over an existing public street. The structure features beautiful iron railing around this grassy plot with panels featuring medallions of famous statesmen, authors, and poets, all of which once graced the antebellum Wetter House in Savannah.