It is no understatement that one of Savannah's biggest draws is its traditional architecture and rich history.

The Andrew Low House and Green-Meldrim House, built only three years apart by architect John Norris, are two fine examples of local historical architecture. The two museums are teaming up for the second annual Savannah Antiques & Architecture Weekend.

Organizers are building on the success of last year's inaugural event, expanding from historic architecture and antiques into interior design.

"We have a lot of creative people in Savannah who are having great careers starting businesses here," says Susan Arden-Joly, preservationist at the Green-Meldrim House. "We're promoting Savannah and its creative professions, as well as that tie to antiques and architecture."

The theme for this year's event is "Then and Now," with a focus on combining history with modern design.

"What we're saying this year is that we should be like the French," says Arden-Joly. "We don't have to separate antiques and historic architecture from what is modern. The French have mixed modern and antiques for decades now and have done it successfully."

The weekend kicks off Friday at the Chatham Club at the DeSoto Hotel with the Historic Madeira Luncheon featuring Sonny Seals, author of "Historic Rural Churches of Georgia."

Friday evening, the Green-Meldrim House will host a cocktail reception where you can meet the many celebrity appraisers and architects participating in the weekend, followed by a live auction.

On Saturday, internationally acclaimed architects and designers Chuck Chewning and Christian Sottile will give a preview of their restoration of the Armstrong Mansion during a lunch-and-learn at the DeSoto's Pulaski Room.

Also on Saturday, New York Times bestselling author and designer Brandon Branch and Courtland Stevens, owner of Number Four Eleven, will be talking about mixing traditional and modern design.

Old Town Trolley's Architectural Connections Tour will run continuously all day with visits to the Andrew Low House, Green-Meldrim House and other significant locations.

"We are adding the Armstrong House and a few more contemporary buildings that have done a good job of fitting in with Savannah architecture and blending the old with the new," says Arden-Joly.

The core of the weekend event is the ever-popular appraisals happening all day Saturday. Lark Mason and Amanda Everard of PBS's "Antiques Roadshow" and Savannah local Jane Mullino will be at Cranmer Hall giving expert verbal valuations of your family treasures.

"I think people, especially young people, approach history in a family way," says Arden-Joly. "My daughter knew not to touch Grandmama's teapot and break it; it's a sacred object in the house. All the very personal objects that teach us about history and the people who use them, well, the members of our families may be gone, but the object remains.

"We like to let those objects talk and one way to do that is through an appraisal. They can learn where it was made, where it came from and, yes, you get a commercial price if you want to sell it, but the idea is really teaching history and the love of these objects through an appraisal."


What: Second annual Antiques & Architecture Weekend

When: March 2-3

Where: Multiple locations

Cost: $15-$85