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New Executive Director Hired for Davenport House Museum, HSF's Flagship Building
"The Davenport House Museum is of paramount importance to Historic Savannah Foundation, and we are delighted to have found an executive director with sterling credentials to take this important position," said Sue Adler, CEO & President of HSF. "The Davenport House was the first of the more than 420 historic buildings – and counting – that Historic Savannah Foundation has saved, and it looms large in the origin story of our organization. Danielle Hodes is the right person to direct our stewardship of this Savannah treasure and to secure the relevance and historical integrity of its programming."
The circa-1820 Davenport House was slated to become a surface parking lot in 1955 when a group of activist Savannah ladies fought to preserve the structure, forming the Historic Savannah Foundation in the process and launching the preservation movement that has secured so much of the city's built history. The Davenport House opened as a museum in 1963, offering programming that in recent years has expanded to include the lives of the enslaved as well as the free inhabitants of the property. Among its features is a gift shop fronting on Broughton Street and a garden which is available as a wedding venue.
Hodes comes to Savannah from her most recent post as senior program manager at the Edith Farnsworth House Historic Site in Plano, Illinois. Before that, she spent three and half years as a senior program manager for the National Museum of American History, a component of the Smithsonian Institution complex of museums. While there, she was a lead program producer and project manager for the museum's programming, both digital and in person. Among her projects there, she co-led the museum's September 11 20th anniversary initiative.
Prior to taking on the Smithsonian post, Hodes spent just over three years working with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, first as assistant manager of public programs and then as manager of public programs. There, she worked with partner organizations to produce and host programming.
Earlier posts include positions with the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York, New York and the Historic House Trust of New York City. She continues to serve as a consultant on trauma-based knowledge work for the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New York at New Paltz, a role she took on in November 2022. She also remains a research associate at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.