THIS JOB DESCRIPTION caught my eye as I was flipping through the latest issue of O magazine: “Historic Home Renovator.” Oprah’s magazine often spotlights female entrepreneurs; this was the story of Tammy Jo Long, a 48-year-old single mother, who in 2003 quit her corporate sales job in Chicago to pursue her obsession with the romantic 19th century mansions of Savannah.
Jones Street Suites
Since then, Long, who had little prior experience with construction, has restored five of them, some that had been vacant so long “they had rats you could put a saddle on.” She’s brought back their grand staircases and elaborate plasterwork, winning local, state, and national awards for her strict adherence to preservation guidelines, and decorated them, for the most part, in traditional formal style.
The Washington Square Collection
The spiffed-up landmark properties are now vacation rentals. Long’s company, Luxury Living Savannah, markets them as 16 units, starting with a 1 BR, 1 bath for $175/night and ranging up to an entire 8-bedroom mansion for $7,450/week, for weddings, reunions, getaways and gatherings of all sorts.
The 1871 Forsyth Park Mansion, above, took 18 months to restore.
The Wedding Cake Mansion, left
To read more about Long’s inspiring dream job and success story, and see interior and garden photos, follow this link.