Monthly Archives

November 2010

(TYBEE ISLAND, GA) Ocean Plaza Resort owner writing book on Hotel Tybee

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(TYBEE ISLAND, GA) Ocean Plaza Beach Resort owner Harry Spirides is seeking old
photographs and stories of the legendary Hotel Tybee which once stood at the same location
that his resort occupies today. Originally built 123 years ago in 1887 the Hotel Tybee was
acclaimed as the “Finest resort between Atlantic City and Miami on the Atlantic Coast.” It was
demolished by its previous owners in 1960. For the purpose of publishing a book to document
the long and colorful history of the Hotel Tybee for future generations to enjoy, Spirides is
asking the public to search for old photographs and stories featuring the Hotel Tybee. Spirides
has pledged to donate all profits from the sale of his book to the ongoing restoration of historic
Fort Screven’s “Tybee Post Theater” located on the north end of Tybee Island.

In its day the Hotel Tybee set the standard for resorts in the United States and featured a
lavishly appointed dining room, a saloon, a dancing and group meeting pavilion, elevators, and
an electricity generation plant to provide electric lighting to every room. It even had its own
artesian waterworks which provided fresh water throughout the property. That hotel survived
hurricanes, world wars, and the Great Depression. It was the center of activity during Tybee
Island’s Golden Age in the roaring 1920s. It was originally built by an affiliate of the Central
of Georgia Railway Company. The original Hotel Tybee, built featuring a coastal Victorian
architecture, burned down in 1909. The second rendition of Hotel Tybee, built in a majestic
Mediterranean Revival architecture opened on the same site in 1911.

To commemorate the rich history of the legendary Hotel Tybee Harry Spirides recently decided
to begin conducting extensive historical research and writing a book. To produce the most
accurate historical record possible Spirides is asking everyone to speak with their family and
friends about this project and to search their old photo albums, storage closets, and attics for
photos and other memorabilia of the old Hotel Tybee to be contributed and featured in his
book. He is also interested in hearing from past Hotel Tybee visitors and guests to document
memorable events which took place at the old Hotel Tybee. All selected contributors will receive
credit in the book along with free copies of the completed book. When asked why he is writing
this book Spirides replies, “I want to document the history of this grand old hotel before this
information is lost forever, plus I think it could be an effective way to raise money for a good

For those interested in contributing to the Hotel Tybee book research project, scanned
Hotel Tybee photos and typewritten Hotel Tybee stories may be submitted by email to Those without email may contact Harry Spirides by calling
(912) 786-7777 or sending items to the address listed below.

Items may be submitted via U.S. mail by sending them to:

Harry Spirides
Attn: Hotel Tybee Book Project
P.O. Box 2449
Tybee Island, GA 31328-2449

History runs deep on Tybee Island, where local museums, monuments, and historical sites detail
the island’s history dating back to 1520 when the Spanish explorer Francisco Fordillo discovered
the island and claimed it as part of Florida.

The Spirides Family has operated landmark businesses in Tybee Island’s downtown commercial
district for the past 65 years since 1945. Some of these businesses include the legendary Tybrisa
Pier and Pavilion, the Hotel Tybee, the world’s first Days Inn, Ocean Terrace Cottages, the
Sands Motel, the Veranda Motel & Restaurant, and the modern day Ocean Plaza Beach Resort
and Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant & Sports Bar. The Spirides family has owned the
Ocean Plaza Resort property for the past 44 years. Harry Spirides as a child literally grew
up at the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, and he has worked there for the past 30 years. Spirides’
most notable accomplishment at Ocean Plaza thus far has been the design, construction, and
opening ten years ago of the multi-million dollar Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant and

Sports Bar. Spirides’ goal for the Ocean Plaza is an ambitious renovation and expansion of the
resort property in an attempt to make it look similar to the second Hotel Tybee with its majestic
Mediterranean Revival architecture. In this project he would also like to include building a
modern convention center and a multi-level parking garage, both of which he says the island’s
downtown commercial district greatly needs in order to accommodate existing demand and to
remain competitive with other resort destinations.

Whether it’s for weddings, reunions, business and association meetings, or vacations, the
Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, with that location’s 123 years of serving southern hospitality, can
accommodate any guest or group. The Ocean Plaza’s award winning restaurant, the Dolphin
Reef Oceanfront Restaurant and Sports Bar, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also features
an all you can eat seafood buffet every Friday and Saturday night. The resort is located
oceanfront at 15th Street on Tybee Island, 20 minutes east of historic downtown Savannah on
U.S. Highway 80. For more information on the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, please call (912)
786-7777 or visit their website at .

(HARDEEVILLE, SC) Savannah Hardscapes Participated in “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”

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Savannah Hardscapes to Participate in the ABC Reality Show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to be Filmed in Savannah November 13th – 18th


(HARDEEVILLE, SC)  Savannah Hardscapes proudly announces their participation in the ABC reality show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" which is being filmed in Savannah this month.


Savannah Hardscapes is joining forces with Savannah builder J.T. Turner Construction to forever change the lives of a Savannah family by completely rebuilding their house.


"We are very excited to be part of the event," says Savannah Hardscapes co-owner Jonathan Rhangos.  "To know that we are helping to improve the lives of a local family is a great feeling."


The 181st episode of the popular reality television program will be centered on constructing a new home for a Savannah family in need in less than a week.  Savannah’s J. T. Turner Construction Company is the builder for the project, which will require a 24-hour daily work schedule. 


Savannah Hardscapes is set to donate materials and supplies which will include brick pavers for the home’s front walkway and the surrounding garden wall.  Savannah Hardscapes’ skilled artisan masons will be onsite at the fast paced building project to expertly install the materials at the home. 


"Proper installation guarantees that the family will enjoy these elements of their home for many years to come," Rhangos explains.


The Savannah episode, expected to air six to eight weeks after filming, will also feature a local canned food drive in which America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia will attempt to collect 150 tons, or 300,000 pounds, of canned goods for low-income families.


Savannah Hardscapes

Founded in 1996 by brothers and co-owners William and Jonathan Rhangos, Savannah Hardscapes and Construction-located at 64 McDowell Circle between downtown Savannah and Bluffton, SC-is the largest provider of the finest stone, brick, pavers, tile and outdoor architectural elements available in the Southeast at the most competitive prices.  The company is the only one of its kind, bringing together the largest selection of the world’s most unique and sustainable surfaces with the most experienced artisans in the region, to ensure expert installation and lasting results for generations.  The turn-key company has the unique ability to translate any architect, builder, urban planner or individual homeowners’ vision into reality.  843-784-6060


America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia: 

America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, the local charity selected to participate in the episode by "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," provides food for the hungry and improves communities in the 21 coastal Georgia counties that it serves.  Volunteers and spectators are encouraged to bring canned food during the build week to the designated shuttle locations.


ABC’s "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition": 

The popular reality program averages 10 million viewers each week and airs in 69 countries.  Through eight seasons hundreds of homes have been reconstructed and countless families have been touched.  Each episode of the Emmy award winning show kicks off with carpenter Ty Pennington surprising an unsuspecting family whose home has been chosen for an extreme makeover.  Through the efforts of a generous local contractor and hundreds of volunteers from the community a race against the clock begins to finish the work in one week.  The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m. EST on ABC.


The "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" kicks off in Savannah on November 10th , with the 24 hour a day building project beginning on the 13th and wrapping up on the 18th .  Tickets are available now for The Extreme Extravaganza auction & fundraiser to be held November 17th at Historic Grayson Stadium at 7PM to raise money to pay off the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Savannah family’s current mortgage.

(SAVANNAH, GA) Savannah Book Festival announces schedule for February 18-20, 2011

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(SAVANNAH, GA) The 4th annual Savannah Book Festival proudly announces the schedule for the Festival, which will take place during President’s Day Weekend, February 18-20, 2011, in and around Telfair Square on beautiful historic downtown Savannah, Georgia. 

Here are the significant events taking place that weekend: 


5:30 pm—Keynote Address by Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice and Left Neglected, Trinity United Methodist Church

7 pm—Savannah Book Festival Gala for authors and major contributors to the Festival, Jepson Center for the Arts. For more information on how to contribute to the Festival or become a sponsor, go to . 


10 am – 5:30 pm—Savannah Book Festival, with presentations by the following authors: 

Trinity United Methodist Church

10 am—Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn

11 am—Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife

12 noon—Lee Smith, Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger

1:30 pm—Lisa Genova, Still Alice

2:30 pm—Geoffrey Wolff, The Hard Way Around

3:30 pm—Tobias Wolff, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories

4:30 pm—Chuck Leavell, Smart, Strong and Sustainable: Building a Better America 

Jepson Center for the Arts—Neises Auditorium

10 am—Lauretta Hannon, The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life

11 am—Hal Crowther, Gather at the River: Notes from the Post-Millennial South

12 noon—Scott Patterson, The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It

1:30 pm—Martha Nesbitt, Savannah Celebrations: Simple Southern Party Menus

2:30 pm—Paula Wallace, Perfect Porches: Designing Welcoming Spaces for Outdoor Living

3:30 pm—Marc Smirnoff, Oxford American Book of Great American Music Writing

4:30 pm—Roy Blount, Hail, Hail Euphoria! Screening of “Duck Soup” then commentary of the film from Hail, Hail Euphoria!  

Telfair Museum Rotunda

10 am—Jacqueline Jones, Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War

11 am—Chad Faries, And Then We Moved, A Memoir: 24 Houses in 10 Years

12 noon—George Dawes Green, A Dissertation on Flannery O’Connor and Savannah

1:30 pm—Harlow Unger, Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation

2:30 pm—Thomas Chatterton Williams, Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-hop Culture

3:30 pm Vaughnette Goode Walker and Barry Sheehy, Savannah, Immortal City: Volume I, Civil War Savannah series 

Telfair Sculpture Gallery

10 am—Beverly Donofrio, Looking for Mary—or the Blessed Mother and Me

11 am—Jonathan Rabb, Second Son

12 noon—Randi Davenport, The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes: A Mother’s Story

1:30 pm—Michael Malone, The Four Corners of the Sky

2:30 pm—Beth Hoffman, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

3:30 pm—Lenore Hart, The Raven’s Bride 

Telfair Boardroom

10 am—Tina Brown, Crooked Row Straight: The Awakening of AIDS Activist Linda Jordan

11 am—Cavanaugh Lee, Save as Draft

12 noon—Cathy Smith Bowers, Like Shining from Shook Foil

1:30 pm—Waqas Khwaja, Modern Poetry of Pakistan

2:30 pm—Gregory Djanikian, So I Will Till the Ground

3:30 pm—David Bottoms, Waltzing through the Endtime 

Free Speech Tent

10 am—Savannah State University writers

11 am—Armstrong Atlantic State University writers

12 noon—Savannah College of Art & Design writers

1:30 pm—Storytelling

2:30 pm—Tina McElroy Ansa & Tarsha Stanley

3:30 pm—Adam Davies on adapting his novel GoodBye Lemon into a screenplay 

7:30 pm—Saturday Evening with Sandra and Ryan Brown, SCAD River Club

This mother-and-son duo will take the stage to talk about their lives in letters and field questions from the audience in a special fundraising event for the Savannah Book Festival.  For tickets, please go to the Savannah Box Office. 


11 am—Sunday Brunch Talk with Vince Dooley, Jepson Center for the Arts Atrium

The former football coach at the University of Georgia will talk about his book, Vince Dooley’s Garden: The Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach, in this highly-anticipated fundraiser for the Savannah Book Festival.  Mr. Dooley’s  illustrator, renowned artist Steve Penley, will also be on hand to discuss his beautiful illustrations.  To purchase a table for $750, please go to the Savannah Box Office. 

Please note that this schedule is subject to change.  For the most recent additions and changes to our Festival schedule, please visit our website at .

The Savannah Book Festival’s mission is to promote reading, writing and civil conversation. It is now a significant event in both the literary and southeastern USA calendars, with a new date this year: February 18-20, 2011 – President’s Day weekend. The Savannah Book Festival Inc. is an independent non-profit corporation led by a volunteer board of directors. It is committed to remaining free and open to the public and to celebrating the written word and its role in improving the human experience.

Visit to plan your trip. You’ll find special deals with local hotels and tourist venues, and the website content is frequently updated.

For more information, contact the Savannah Book Festival at (912) 358-0575;; or 3025 Bull St., Suite 249, Savannah, GA 31405, 

(TYBEE ISLAND) Ocean Plaza book project to commemorate Hotel Tybee. Author looking for old photos

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Ocean Plaza book project to commemorate Hotel Tybee. Author looking for old
photos & stories.

To commemorate the rich and colorful history of the legendary Hotel Tybee Harry Spirides is
currently conducting extensive historical research and writing a book to be published for the
purpose of sharing with the general public for the first time ever the detailed history of the
Hotel Tybee. To produce the most accurate historical record possible Harry Spirides is asking
everyone to speak with their family members and friends about this project and to ask them
to search their old photo albums, storage closets, and attics for photos and other memorabilia
of the old Hotel Tybee to be contributed and featured in his book.

Ocean Plaza Resort website: