Starland DairyPosted by Dustin Larimer on April 21st 2012
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During the darkest days of the Great Depression, the Starland Dairy, located at the southern edge of Savannah's historic district, commissioned the construction of the town's first lighted baseball park. The dairy initiated educational programs that brought milk cows to school yards around town, culminating in a contest where the winning student could name a cow (they chose Starlanda) and take their family to an amusement park. Conventional business logic says expenditures like these amount to economic suicide in such dire times, but the Dairy leadership saw things differently. They funded projects that created jobs while enriching the cultural ecosystem. They invested in their community and gave people cause to feel hopeful about the future.
Fast-forward 70 years. John Deaderick and Greg Jacobs, along with Jerry Lominack and later Christian Sottile, recognized the significance of this neighborhood within Savannah, and set after a vision of resurrecting it from the ages. During this effort, the Starland Dairy became the first LEED certified building in Savannah. In September of 2011, Volta Collaborative engaged the Desotarow art gallery, Christian Sottile and Jerry Lominack, in collaboration with SCAD design students from the Architecture and Fibers departments, to further reassert the Starland Dairy as a beacon of community revitalization and local ingenuity.
Through several weeks of fiery collaboration, the project stakeholders were able to see their assets through an entirely new lens. The students, too, were exposed to a depth and intensity of interdepartmental collaboration that they had not yet experienced. It was a profound journey for everyone, culminating with a public exhibition of the students' concepts for the "historically reverent" revitalization of the Starland Dairy.